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Tsunoda 'set' for F1 in 2025, unlike Ricciardo

Tsunoda 'set' for F1 in 2025, unlike Ricciardo
© Reuters
Yuki Tsunoda can be assured of his place in Formula 1 for the foreseeable future.

Yuki Tsunoda can be assured of his place in Formula 1 for the foreseeable future.

This week, Red Bull Racing announced that Sergio Perez will remain with the team through 2026, ensuring no openings for other drivers at the drinks company's premier F1 squad.

"We want to ensure continuity and both drivers get on really well, there are simply no conflict," Red Bull F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"Checo is also incredibly popular in Latin America. We sell more merchandise of his there than that of (Max) Verstappen, and when he's on his game, he's almost unbeatable."

Meanwhile, at the smaller sister team, RB, Japanese driver Tsunoda has solidified his position.

"Yuki Tsunoda is set, that's clear," Red Bull F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko reiterated.

However, despite this seeming security, Tsunoda mentioned in Canada that he hasn't officially signed any contract yet, although Red Bull appears to have a lasting overriding deal in place covering well beyond 2024.

"I also had some options with other teams," said Tsunoda. "But I am already very committed to Red Bull and hopefully I can get a little more commitment from them too."

Tsunoda seems to hope to include a provision in his new agreement allowing him to switch teams in the future if a spot at Red Bull Racing does not materialize.

"Perez still has to perform in the next two years," he observed. "Anything can happen in these kinds of circumstances. I just have to keep growing and make sure that at some point Red Bull can no longer ignore me."

The other race seat at the junior RB team, also known as Racing Bulls or VCARB, is currently contested between Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson, with reserve driver Lawson holding a contract that allows him to leave if not given a 2025 race seat.

"He (Lawson) is there at every race and we are in close contact," Marko noted.

"There is a clause with Lawson that if we don't offer him a seat, he is free for other teams."

Ricciardo openly admits that his performances have not been convincing enough to secure a firm position at the top team.

"You have to be realistic," said the Australian. "I simply didn't deliver enough. If you want one of the top cockpits, you have to show exceptional performance."

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Liam Lawson at the Singapore GP on September 17, 2023
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