Helmut Marko spills the beans on Yuki Tsunoda and details Liam Lawson's particular contractual situation

On the sidelines of Sergio Pérez's extension at Red Bull, Helmut Marko confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda would extend the adventure with Racing Bulls in 2025.

Published on 06/06/2024 à 23:02

Jeremy Satis

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Helmut Marko spills the beans on Yuki Tsunoda and details Liam Lawson's particular contractual situation

Yuki Tsunoda should continue with RB. © Eric Alonso / DPPI

When silly season approaches, one man has a little more work than the others. With two teams under his control and four seats to be allocated, Helmut Marko is indeed far from being part-time, but that is not likely to bother him. The Austrian is passionate, and if there is one thing he loves above all, it is his drivers. Max Verstappen being under contract until 2028 (excluding possible clause), the extension of Checo Pérez at Red Bull had the gift of solving 50% of the equation with a view to 2025, but there are still some unknowns to resolve, particularly at Racing Bulls.

While Daniel Ricciardo et Yuki tsunoda share duties this season within the team of Faenza, neither is contractually committed to the team beyond the current season, which has left the door open for several weeks to different interpretations and perspectives. Brilliant since the start of the 2024 campaign, Yuki Tsunoda said he was starting to find it long in Italy, explaining that he could leave the Austrian fold in the event of non-promotion at Red Bull.

Three men for one last seat at Racing Bulls

“If I have an interesting offer that could be better than [RB] or Red Bull, I would consider it”, he said in recent weeks. “But I also have great loyalty to Red Bull because without them I wouldn't be here. And obviously Honda too. And speaking of Honda, maybe Aston Martin, but Aston too, they are taken by two drivers. In Canada, Helmut Marko did as usual, that is to say he betrayed secrets (open ones, of course!) for our greatest happiness.

“For Yuki, it’s done, it’s clear” he said, confirming that the Nippon would indeed be with Racing Bulls in 2025. A fair reward for the one who is competing in his 4th season in Faenza and who is in 10th place in the drivers' standings thanks to five entries in the points. The identity of the person who will accompany him is, however, still unclear, even if three names seem to emerge. Daniel Ricciardo is obviously a candidate, due to his experience and his smile which reassures the sponsors, but the Aussie has no guarantee of continuing the adventure. Apart from his five points scored during the sprint in Miami, he has not achieved any points finish in Grands Prix this season.

Helmut Marko Red Bull Lawson Ricciardo

Who will be left behind? © DPPI

Which leaves Liam Lawson, the interim (5 Grands Prix) of 2023 in the position of favorite. “He is present at every race and we are in close contact”, assured Marko, specifying a contractual reality unknown until then. “There is a clause with Lawson”, Marko said. “If we don’t offer him an active seat, he will be free for other teams.” In the back of his mind, the Isack Hadjar option remains a possibility. The Frenchman has always been highly appreciated by the Austrian and his sparkling form (2 victories and 1 podium in the last three main races) in F2 speaks for him. The Habs start from further away, in particular because of the calendar and the fact that decisions are made early this year. But if he continues to string together good performances, then maybe…

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Jeremy Satis

Great F1 reporter & passionate about promotional formulas

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1 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

07/06/2024 at 09:37 a.m.

An illustration of the end of the Red Bull industry if Ricciardo is confirmed for 2025, Lawson sails elsewhere and Hadjar will have no chance of finding a seat at Ridiculous Bulls

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