Tsunoda not yet ready for Red Bull – Horner

Yuki Tsunoda is not “yet” ready to move up to Red Bull’s top team, according to boss Christian Horner.

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher this week said it is clear Sergio Perez, 33, is pushing hard to win a title before his 2024 contract is up.

“They have Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo and others,” said the German. “If the relationship between Verstappen and Perez gets difficult, it’s logical that they’ll say goodbye.”

Japanese Tsunoda was initially wild at the wheel of Red Bull’s second team Alpha Tauri, but his boss Franz Tost says the 22-year-old is now “on the right track”.

“In 2025, I think he will finally be ready for Red Bull.”

Horner, the boss at Red Bull Racing, agrees that with Mexican Perez under contract until the end of last year, any rumours Tsunoda could swoop in with a 2024 seat are wide of the mark.

“I don’t think he’s at our level yet but he’s making great progress and we’re seeing he’s maturing as a driver,” he said.

“He certainly has speed and I think as he gains experience, I’m sure he’s going to become more rounded. I mean, he’s driven some strong races so far this year.”

The fact that Tsunoda has clearly outshone the struggling rookie Nyck de Vries so far this year is making the Japanese more attractive, and Horner admits he is an option for the future.

“We’re not short of options for the team but we have a commitment with both of our drivers. The best thing he (Tsunoda) can do is perform at a very high level in the Alpha Tauri,” said Horner.

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