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Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda: No targets set by Marko in quest for Red Bull jump

Could Tsunoda be the answer if Perez is dropped by Red Bull at the end of the upcoming F1 season?

Tsunoda Bahrain test
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

RB driver Yuki Tsunoda has insisted Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has not set performance targets with a view to making the step to the Milton Keynes-based outfit for next season.

There is potentially an opening with the reigning Constructors' championship-winning team from next season if Sergio Perez fails to pick up performances from last term.

By virtue of racing for sister team RB, Tsunoda and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo are in the best position to capitalise and make the step up should any changes be made and asked if any targets had been set by Marko, Tsunoda told media including RacingNews365: "No not so far.

"We know anyway that everything is performance-related. If the result is good, you know automatically something will come.

"But for now, we have to focus on ourselves first. We had a busy off-season so we are still getting used to it and have to rebuild the process to get started properly.

"So we will see how it goes."

The driver market has been blown wide open this year by Lewis Hamilton's early announcement of a move to Ferrari for next season, with half of the grid seeing their contracts expire at the end of the campaign.

On his potential for a move away from RB, Tsunoda explained: "As a driver, if I get more interest from other teams, it proves how much you have driven well and how much you are valued, so that's what I am aiming for.

"Obviously, first priority will be Red Bull."

Ricciardo has 'something I don't have'

Tsunoda and Ricciardo will likely face-off in a race for the Red Bull seat this season, should Perez be dropped and the team decides against looking externally for a replacement.

On the Australian's talents, Tsunoda conceded: "He has something that I don't have, which is self-control - he is really good at it and it is something teams value, rather than keeping shouting.

"That kind of self-control is really important, so I'm just learning from that and I think Daniel, we know all the positives: he is fast, he has won multiple grands prix and he's definitely feeling much more comfortable with our car compared to others.

"So he is back in great shape, but I like it, I like to have that challenge and a fast driver.

"At the same time, we are sharing our opinion on how much we can improve the car and as team-mates, we are working well.

"I'm sure we will be ok. F1, this is our life and the main competitor is your team-mate rather than others."

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