Yuki Tsunoda prepared to leave Red Bull and choose his own F1 destiny

Sam Cooper
AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, April 2023.

AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, April 2023.

Yuki Tsunoda has admitted he would be open to move away from Red Bull if it meant moving to a “consistently high” team.

After doubts surrounding his long term F1 future, Tsunoda has demonstrated his skill this year and regularly brought an underperforming AT04 to up fighting for the points.

He may only be 17th in the standings, just two points ahead of team-mate Nyck de Vries, but that does not tell the full story with Tsunoda finishing 11th on three occasions this season.

His performances have not gone unnoticed either with Tsunoda going from a driver often in the shadow of Pierre Gasly to one that is being touted as a potential option to partner Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

Tsunoda though is willing to leave the Red Bull family if it means a shot at one of the top teams.

“I think Checo has a contract [to the end of] next year, and I guess Red Bull are happy with him,” Tsunoda told GIVEMESPORT. “So, for now, I just have to focus on myself and show my value. I think time will tell anyway. I think it’s good to actually stay for now at AlphaTauri and show my performance to all the teams.

“It’s good to have more attention not just from Red Bull. I don’t get to choose what team I want to go to or what things I want to do in Formula One yet, I think Red Bull will still get to choose, so I want to get to a point as a driver where I get to choose.

“Obviously I want to go to a team that I know, based on the last few years, has been consistently high.

“Maybe one day AlphaTauri will be in that top part and in that case then there’s no reason to go to other teams. But anyway, it’s good to have lots of attention because it shows that I have much value and I think we as drivers we’re happy with things like this.”

While Helmut Marko admitted AlphaTauri continue to perform below expectation, the Red Bull advisor used Tsunoda as an example of the sister team’s benefits.

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“We are not satisfied with AlphaTauri’s current performance, neither are they themselves,” he said.

“But their main task is still to train our young talents so that they can take the next step. That worked well in the past and the current example of Yuki Tsunoda shows that it still works today, despite the still meagre score.

“We hope that AlphaTauri can improve this year. And for the future, it is planned that the cooperation with Red Bull Racing will be expanded – of course within the permitted framework of the regulations – in order to be able to use more resources efficiently. It is planned that parts of the team will go to England.”