Yuki Tsunoda makes bold Max Verstappen claim in push for Red Bull seat

Henry Valantine
Yuki Tsunoda with Max Verstappen.

Yuki Tsunoda wants the ultimate challenge of testing himself in equal machinery with Max Verstappen.

Yuki Tsunoda has openly stated his goal of partnering Max Verstappen in the same car in future, believing there wouldn’t be a “big difference” between them in a dry qualifying trim.

The current AlphaTauri driver admitted that the consistency the reigning World Champion shows on a race-by-race basis, as well as his adaptability in mixed conditions, is what sets him apart at the moment, but given the chance, he would want to drive in the same car as the Dutchman eventually.

Tsunoda recently signed a contract for a fourth season at AlphaTauri next year, but with Sergio Perez’s deal at Red Bull coming to an end at the end of next season, Perez himself and several others are likely to be vying for that slot alongside Verstappen.

Yuki Tsunoda wants to test himself against Max Verstappen in equal machinery

For his performances in the first half of this season in particular, Tsunoda had been hailed as one of the most-improved drivers on the grid after largely running the rule over Nyck de Vries, though his battles with Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson recently were on a more level playing field.

When speaking to media in Qatar, Tsunoda was asked about what he feels Verstappen’s best qualities are as a driver, but his initial response was to say he wants to put himself through the ultimate challenge and test himself against the three-time World Champion.

“To be honest, I would like to drive in the same car, because I don’t know it,” said the AlphaTauri driver.

“Obviously, it’s easy to say he’s good. But [at the] same time, we never drive together, and obviously the car is different, so it’s hard to say about the driving difference.

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“But I think the most impressive thing for me is about the consistency, how he adapts to each condition like for example [in the] Netherlands or condition changes at the tracks, sometimes half-wet, fully wet, and he’s always on the limit.

“I think he’s always able to drive really fast and control the car. I think those things, those places are the difference to me and where I have to work on to reach the Red Bull.

“But other driving and other performance in dry conditions in qualifying, I wouldn’t say for now that we have a big difference, but to be honest I don’t know. Obviously, the consistency is definitely better.”

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