F1 rivals start to circle around Yuki Tsunoda with Red Bull 2025 challenge set

Henry Valantine
Yuki Tsunoda in the paddock in Australia.

Yuki Tsunoda is looking to put himself on Red Bull's radar by performing well in 2024.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has said Yuki Tsunoda is “being recognised on the driver market” after a strong start to the 2024 season.

The RB driver has started on a bright note against Daniel Ricciardo, earning a P7 finish in Australia on Sunday to score his and his team’s first points of the season after a hard-fought drive at Albert Park.

Helmut Marko recognises Yuki Tsunoda ‘at a very high level’ in 2024

Now in his fourth season in Formula 1, Tsunoda had struggled initially to get to grips with the top tier but has improved year on year as his experience has grown.

Marko explained both he and former AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost have both been big believers in his talent throughout his career, and recognised he has been “faultless” so far in 2024.

As a result, with Tsunoda out of contract at the end of the season, he said he is now being looked at as a potential option by other teams.

“Daniel’s speed has improved, but Yuki is driving at a very high level at the moment – and remains faultless,” Marko wrote in a column for Speedweek.

“Franz Tost and I have always believed in him, his speed has always been beyond doubt for us.

“His problems were lack of control, outbursts and a tendency to make mistakes. All that is gone this season.

“Yuki came to Europe very young and that is very, very hard for a Japanese. It’s a completely different life with us.

“But now things are going well and Yuki is being recognised on the driver market.

“His seventh place in Melbourne is important for the Racing Bulls. It’s incredibly tough for the last five teams to finish in the points.”

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Tsunoda himself has been hoping that his early-season performances are not going unnoticed at the Red Bull camp, with a potential 2025 seat alongside Max Verstappen on the cards if Sergio Perez is unable to earn a contract extension.

The stance from the team remains that the seat is for the Mexican to lose heading into next year, and Marko explained that Tsunoda must keep up his rate of improvement if he is to be considered for a promotion next year.

“Every lap he was competitive and didn’t do anything wrong, he was calm,” Marko told Motorsport.com.

“As we say, one swallow does not make a summer. So, he has to improve more before he can be considered in this direction.”

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