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

Michelle Foster
Yuki Tsunoda in Imola

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

Denied a Red Bull promotion when the team extended Sergio Perez’s contract, Yuki Tsunoda says he’s happy to stay at RB but he wants “more commitment” from Red Bull.

Red Bull announced earlier this week that Perez had signed a new two-year extension, one that will keep him at the team until the end of the 2026 season.

Yuki Tsunoda: Maybe [it] can change in the future

That effectively shut the door on Yuki Tsunoda being promoted to the senior team given Max Verstappen still has another four years to run on his deal.

But that doesn’t mean the end of Tsunoda’s relationship with Red Bull as he says he is “happy” at the junior team, who he joined four years ago.

He, though, does have a few requests before putting pen to paper on a new deal, one of those being the possibility of stepping up in the future as he reckons “anything can happen” with Perez.

“I would like to see more commitment from the contract,” Tsunoda said. “Obviously I’m already committed with Red Bull a lot and hopefully I can have a bit more commitment from them.

“There’s an ongoing discussion and I want to make sure first of all we’re on the same page with Red Bull after that we’ll see. But I’m happy with RB.

“Even these two years [Perez] has to still perform and in this kind of environment, anything can happen.

“So, congratulations to him and other than that, for me, I just keep focusing on what I’m doing and just proving myself.

“I just have to grow more and at the same time, hopefully, Red Bull will understand more or see more of my progress and my potential performance and maybe [it] can change in the future.”

How the 2025 grid is shaping up

👉The nine drivers out of contract at the end of the F1 2024 season

👉F1 2025 driver line-up: Who is already confirmed for the 2025 grid?

RB, though, aren’t Tsunoda’s only option.

Having previously name dropped Aston Martin, who will be powered by Honda in 2026, the Japanese driver says there are “other teams” who are interested in him which opens doors for the future.

“The good thing is that the other teams are starting to get interested in me,” he revealed. “I also got a couple of options from the others, which is growing.

“It’s a good thing that I’m able to grow my value as well, especially like this interesting drivers’ market.

“But first of all, my priority is Red Bull. I want to make sure we’re on the same page because Red Bull is part of my life so far and without them, I wouldn’t achieve this much.”

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is keen to continue with Tsunoda, saying he is “set” to stay at RB next season with Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson fighting for the second seat.

Read next: From dressing gown to race suit: How sim racing gave current championship leader a unique start