In the competitive world of Formula 1, driver speculation is a constant topic of discussion, and the recent buzz around the potential replacement of Sergio Perez has brought Yuki Tsunoda’s perspective into the spotlight. Tsunoda, currently in his third Formula 1 campaign, shares his thoughts on the rumors, his performance, and the dynamics within the Red Bull Racing team.
Tsunoda acknowledges the rumors linking Daniel Ricciardo to a possible replacement for Perez, attributing it to the Australian driver’s alignment with the “Red Bull style.” Despite delivering strong performances for AlphaTauri, Tsunoda believes Ricciardo’s experience, larger fan base, and trust factor make him a logical candidate. In response to the speculation, Tsunoda commented, “Daniel has experience, more fans, he’s more trusted and more valued so it makes sense. I just have to show my performance consistently to kind of show them [and] everyone that I can be that contender.”
While the focus has been on Ricciardo, Tsunoda remains unfazed and expresses confidence in his abilities. “But still, I’m not worried that I won’t beat him or whatever. I still have good confidence that I can beat him and still learn from him,” he asserted. Tsunoda has proven his mettle by outperforming Ricciardo in two of the three races since the latter’s return from a hand injury.
AlphaTauri, despite a slow start to the season, has made strides in the latter part, accumulating 18 points in the last few races. Tsunoda sees this as a testament to the team’s aggressive approach to upgrades. Looking ahead to next season, he stated, “It depends where we end up this season in the team standings. It will help definitely for next year’s development, and I think stuff [we have been doing] has finally paid off in terms of aggressive upgrades this season.”
As the team strengthens its technical collaboration with Red Bull, Tsunoda believes the late-season progress positions AlphaTauri well for 2024. Reflecting on the team’s goals, he remarked, “Hopefully we can finish above Williams. I think Williams is realistic because of the last race, so that would be the best. So, yeah. See how it goes.”
In the ever-evolving landscape of Formula 1, Yuki Tsunoda remains focused on showcasing his skills and contributing to AlphaTauri’s success, regardless of the ongoing speculation surrounding driver line-ups.