Red Bull trigger one-year Yuki Tsunoda option to fend off rivals

Jamie Woodhouse
Yuki Tsunoda in Imola

Yuki Tsunoda has driven for the Red Bull second team since 2021.

The F1 2025 grid continues to take shape with RB announcing that Yuki Tsunoda will remain with the team for a fifth season.

Tsunoda has delivered arguably his most impressive string of performances to date during the F1 2024 campaign, making himself a regular face in the top 10 and collecting 19 of RB’s 24 points scored so far. This form has not gone unnoticed by his team.

Yuki Tsunoda Red Bull contract extension triggered

The door may have closed on a Red Bull promotion for next season as Sergio Perez was retained on a multi-year deal, but Tsunoda will remain in the fold with RB, after an extension option for the F1 2025 campaign was activated.

Reacting to the news, Tsunoda said: “I’m very happy to be staying with Visa Cash App RB and it’s a good feeling to have my future decided so early in the year. For that, I want to thank everyone at Red Bull and Honda who have played such an important role in my career and will continue to do so.

“The team has a big development project ahead and I’m excited to be part of it. It’s great to know that everyone appreciates all the hard work I have put in and that the team believes I can help it move further up the grid.

“We have already made clear progress this season and that really motivates me to always give my best and that’s what I’ll continue to do with VCARB.

“For the moment, I’m concentrating on the remaining races this season, with the aim of bringing home as many points as possible, always growing with the team, laying the groundwork to do even better next year!”

Speaking recently to PlanetF1.com, RB team principal Laurent Mekies expressed confidence that their decision not to rush on announcing their F1 2025 drivers would not cost them Tsunoda, who had been linked with Haas and also Aston Martin, as his backer Honda prepare to switch allegiances to the Silverstone outfit from F1 2026.

And following the confirmation of Tsunoda’s F1 2025 contract extension, Mekies hailed the Japanese racer’s “simply phenomenal” improvement so far this season, while teasing that there is more to come yet.

“I watched Yuki’s progress in Formula 1 with interest even before I returned to Faenza and it’s been impressive, year after year,” said Mekies. “The step up he has made this year is simply phenomenal, and he keeps surprising us all, race after race.

“There’s no doubting his natural speed to which he has now added a much more mature approach and this combination makes him a very quick and consistent performer, and a great team player.

“We continue to get a better understanding of what he needs from us and vice versa, so we are progressing together, Yuki as a driver and the team, as Visa Cash App RB. We share the same
ambitions, so there are several good reasons to continue our journey together. He still has a lot to give!”

F1 2025 grid continues to take shape

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RB CEO Peter Bayer added: “Yuki is a graduate of both the Red Bull and Honda Junior Driver programmes and it’s thanks to a good job from all parties that he’s been able to reach
his current level of performance.

“As the saying goes, ‘never change a winning team’, so we are delighted to confirm Yuki as part of our future. He is a valuable asset on and off the race track, as his engaging nature has made him very popular with fans around the world. We are excited that he is staying with us.”

RB must now determine the second half of their F1 2025 line-up, with Tsunoda’s current team-mate Daniel Ricciardo joined by the likes of RB deserve driver Liam Lawson, Red Bull Formula 2 junior Isack Hadjar and Ayumu Iwasa as contenders for the seat.

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