Marko Labels Tsunoda As 'Top Driver' Amid Recent Contract Extension

Sunday, 16 June 2024 at 14:00
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Helmut Marko marked Yuki Tsunoda as a "top driver" following a recent contract extension with Racing Bulls.
Although he made a mistake that cost him points during the most recent race in Canada, the 2024 season has been the best season so far in Yuki Tsunoda's career.
The Japanese driver has never scored more than three points in the opening nine rounds of the season, and in 2024, he has already finished inside the top ten five times.
The 24-year-old driver is why RB is now in sixth place in the Constructors' Championship. What's even more impressive is that Tsunoda is above Lance Stroll (who has a faster car) in the Drivers' Championship.
Moreover, Tsunoda is currently outperforming his teammate Daniel Ricciardo quite significantly—6-2 in the Grand Prix and 7-2 in the qualifying results.
Tsunoda has been driving so well that he might even have been a contender for the Red Bull seat. However, the Milton Keynes team gave Sergio Perez a contract extension instead.
A few days after the announcement of Perez's contract with Red Bull, RB announced that the Japanese driver would also drive for them in 2025.
One of the people who seem to have a significant say over who gets to drive for Red Bull and RB is Helmut Marko. Although he apparently didn't feel like Tsunoda was good enough for Red Bull, he did send a few compliments his way recently, as he told Autosport.

"He has to continue to perform like he does now. Let's see what the future brings then. His development is really good, although it came a little bit later than we expected, but he is now a top driver, I would say."

"This is the first season in which Yuki is consistently fast, and he is controlling his emotions, which was his biggest problem before."

"To be fair to him, he had always flashes of speed, but this year besides the China race he is consistently fast. Of course, it is changing his profile."