Ricciardo Protected By Horner While Tsunoda Considers Exit From Red Bull Family - Report

Monday, 03 June 2024 at 16:00
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In one of his latest F1 Q&As, BBC reporter Andrew Benson revealed that Daniel Ricciardo's position in RB remains unthreatened, and Yuki Tsunoda might want to leave soon.
Both RB drivers went into the season knowing that their head-to-head results might determine their future in F1 and possibly whether they get promoted to Red Bull.
As it stands ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Yuki Tsunoda has the upper hand over Daniel Ricciardo in both qualifying (6-1) and race result comparison (6-1 as well).
The Japanese driver made an incredible step forward this year and has been driving at a very high level, scoring points in five of the last six races (with a car that should perhaps not be in the top ten).
Despite everything, it seems Red Bull isn't and won't seriously consider the 24-year-old for the second seat alongside Max Verstappen. Andrew Benson wrote for BBC:

"The impression from the outside is that there is absolutely nothing Tsunoda can do to be considered for a seat at Red Bull - the bosses simply do not rate him highly enough."

"This is why Tsunoda is looking outside Red Bull for job opportunities, even though he owes his seat in F1 to Honda, their engine partner."

The most suitable option for the Japanese driver would be to go to Aston Martin, which enters into collaboration with Honda (Tsunoda's long-term support).
However, there doesn't seem to be space, as the British team just extended Fernando Alonso's contract. The second seat is expected to be given to the son of the owner, Lance Stroll. Benson continued:

"So, Tsunoda is looking at places such as Williams, Haas, and Alpine, and it seems he has a decent chance of landing one of those seats in this summer's driver musical chairs."

"At the moment, though, Ricciardo is protected by team principal Christian Horner, sources say, and is safe for now from being replaced by reserve Liam Lawson."

Rumors after the end of the most recent season suggested Lawson was promised a seat in RB. However, it now turns out these speculations most probably weren't true.
RB CEO Peter Bayer recently asserted that the team's current drivers are its priority. Nevertheless, if Tsunoda really decides to leave, Lawson might find himself with an F1 seat alongside the Honey Badger.

"Motorsport adviser Helmut Marko, who would probably like to promote Lawson, has lost power and influence in the internal civil war at Red Bull."

"It is not hard to imagine a Lawson and Ricciardo line-up at RB in 2025, though, if Horner does not shift his stance and Tsunoda moves elsewhere."