Red Bull set hefty price tag for early Yuki Tsunoda release – report

Michelle Foster
Yuki Tsunoda celebrates in front of Daniel Ricciardo's garage

Yuki Tsunoda celebrates in front of Daniel Ricciardo's garage

Red Bull reportedly have until September to exercise their option on Yuki Tsunoda, but if a rival wants to beat them to his signature for the 2025 season, it will cost them “five million dollars”.

Joining Red Bull’s junior team in 2021 with his Honda backing, Yuki Tsunoda needed time to adjust to Formula 1 but this season has emerged as RB’s lead driver.

Red Bull have reportedly put a ‘five million dollars’ pricetag on Yuki Tsunoda

Scoring 19 points to Daniel Ricciardo’s five, some pundits suggested Red Bull should take a chance on Tsunoda for next year’s championship but the team opted instead to continue with Sergio Perez.

The Mexican driver will remain Max Verstappen’s team-mate until the end of the F1 2026 championship having signed a two-year extension.

But while the Red Bull door is closed to Tsunoda, at least for now, he is expected to continue with RB for a fifth season in 2025.

That has yet to officially be confirmed although Helmut Marko has said Tsunoda is “set, that’s clear”.

The team though isn’t in a rush to confirm their 2025 deal with Auto Motor und Sport reporting they have until September to exercise their option on Tsunoda.

However, if a rival team is keen to sign him before then, it comes with a “five million dollars” price tag.

“Yuki Tsunoda’s performances are currently recommending him for a place in the A team, but the Japanese is a Honda protégé and Red Bull’s marriage with Honda ends in 2026,” reports the German publication. “Tsunoda could also be useful at Toro Rosso [Team RB] in 2025.

“Red Bull still has an option on the tenth-placed driver in the World Championship, which must be exercised in September.

“Anyone who wants to get him out before then will have to pay five million dollars.”

More on Yuki Tsunoda’s F1 future

👉‘Maybe it can change in the future’ – Yuki Tsunoda’s warning to Sergio Perez

👉RB three-driver conundrum: Marko’s Yuki Tsunoda reveal and Liam Lawson clause reminder

However, it does appear as if it is only a matter of time before RB exercise their option with team boss Laurent Mekies talking up his driver’s “extraordinary” start to the season.

“There has been more excitement on the outside of the team than in the team,” he said during the Sky F1 broadcast.

“From our perspective, in the first part of the season we have been pushing very hard to give Yuki and Daniel the car they need to express themselves best.

“Obviously Yuki has done an extraordinary start to the season. He is a natural fit for the team, things are going well. There is no reason why things aren’t going to continue.”

As for his team-mate Ricciardo, the Frenchman said: “With Daniel we are still working very hard to make him more comfortable in the car.

“Are we in a rush? Not really, there is nothing that pushes us to make an early decision.”

While it looks as if RB will continue with Tsunoda, Ricciardo is in a two-driver battle against reserve driver Liam Lawson for the second seat.

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