Marko Reportedly Refusing To Acknowledge Tsunoda's Qualities In Contest For Red Bull Seat

Tuesday, 02 April 2024 at 22:45
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Helmut Marko, who has a big say in the choice of drivers, has reportedly refused to take Yuki Tsunoda seriously in the battle for a seat at Red Bull.
Many experts already acknowledged Yuki Tsunoda's significant improvement during the previous two seasons in F1, and his most recent performance in Australia only confirmed this.
The Japanese driver has been very strong in all race weekends of the season so far and outperformed his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who was previously considered the main candidate for the seat next to Max Verstappen.
Helmut Marko said ahead of the season that either of the two drivers who clearly dominates over the other could get the seat in the team from Milton Keynes next year.
However, according to BBC F1 journalist Andrew Benson, neither of the RB drivers is likely to get that seat in the top team as it stands. He wrote:

"At the moment, neither Ricciardo nor Tsunoda are likely to get a Red Bull seat in 2025 if either Verstappen or Perez leave."

Rumors suggested that Ricciardo was even at risk of being replaced by RB's reserve driver, Liam Lawson, who already proved last year that it was no problem for him to jump in the car in the middle of the season.
Tsunoda, on the other hand, seems to be performing better than ever, and according to the journalist, the 80-year-old Red Bull boss just won't consider him.

"And Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko does not rate Tsunoda, who was forced on him by engine partner Honda. 

"Some inside RB say that is unfair, and that Tsunoda has been performing at an elite level so far this season. But Marko remains to be convinced."

If this were the case, Red Bull would have very similar alternatives to other teams like Mercedes or Aston Martin, which most probably have Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso at the top of their lists.