Yuki Tsunoda has been told “anything is possible” in regards to him one day moving up from AlphaTauri into the Red Bull seat.
With the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo, it could be seen that Tsunoda was moved down a step in the succession plan at Red Bull with the Japanese driver previously being one of many linked to Sergio Perez’s seat.
Tsunoda has just five months left on his current Red Bull deal but there is every indication a renewal is coming with Tusnoda telling PlanetF1.com during the British Grand Prix weekend that Helmut Marko had given him positive impressions about his 2023 performance,
It was that performance that put more pressure on Nyck de Vries’ shoulders with Tsunoda seemingly able to fight for points on a consistent basis while De Vries was languishing in the bottom five.
As for the move up to Red Bull, Marko suggested “anything is possible.”
“Why shouldn’t he drive with us?” Marko pondered as per Grandpx.news.
“We’re happy with him because of his improvement this year. He’s been unlucky a few times in the races.”
Another string in Tsunoda’s bow is his links with current engine partner Honda but that relationship will end in 2026 as Red Bull partners up with Ford. That could then play into the hands of another young driver and one who was overlooked for Ricciardo’s seat – Liam Lawson.
“With Ayumu Iwasa there is a cooperation with Honda as well as Tsunoda,” Marko revealed. “Lawson, on the other hand, is independent of Honda.
“We considered him, but the risk would have been too great because he lacks routine and doesn’t yet have the image of a Ricciardo.
“Liam should finish his season in Japan in peace. We also considered that with Ricciardo and his experience he can make different statements about a racing can than Yuki, who has only driven for Alpha Tauri.
“So it’s also about a technical assessment of the situation there. A second factor is that with Ricciardo we can compare him to Tsunoda, because we don’t really know exactly where he stands.”
As for the current incumbent of the Red Bill second seat, Perez has been warned that his “days are numbered” at the team. Ralf Schumacher, writing in his Sky Germany column, said Red Bull could not afford to have one driver much slower than the other.
“The mood at Sergio Perez was bleak recently,” Schumacher wrote. “After numerous blunders in the past few weeks, after the crash in the first free practice session in Hungary, massive criticism was poured in again. The problem with Perez is consistency. He has too many fluctuations and maybe not mentally stable enough. He’s just too far away from Max [Verstappen] and for me his days at Red Bull are over.
“It’s unfair of us to put more pressure on him, but especially in the future when other teams are getting closer, Red Bull can’t afford one driver to be so much slower than the other. The team is logically trying to make Perez believe his job is not in jeopardy, but I don’t think Perez will be racing in the Red Bull next year.”