Yuki Tsunoda believes Daniel Ricciardo has been more heavily linked to replace Sergio Perez than him because the Australian is aligned with the “Red Bull style”.

Perez has struggled immensely alongside World Champion Max Verstappen this season, prompting repeated rumours that he could lose his seat at some stage next year.

Ricciardo, who returned to the Red Bull fray earlier this year, has been the most notorious name mentioned, having previously driven for the senior outfit between 2014-18.

Meanwhile, despite thrashing Nyck de Vries and matching Ricciardo at AlphaTauri in 2023, prospective talk of Tsunoda earning a Red Bull promotion has been muted.

The Japanese driver, currently in his third Formula 1 campaign, has beaten Ricciardo in two of the three rounds since the latter’s return from a broken hand injury in Austin.

When asked if there was any annoyance he wasn’t being considered more, Tsunoda said: “Yeah obviously. It’s better than nothing, but 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.

“Anyway, Checo [Perez] has next year’s contract and nothing we can do to change anything. I just need to keep showing my results now.

“He’s [Ricciardo] doing a good job, especially after coming back from McLaren and he seems really comfortable in the car especially compared to at previous teams. I think he’s got Red Bull energy, the Red Bull style.”

However, regardless of whether it’s enough to propel him into the discussion, Tsunoda retains the belief that he can have the edge over his more experienced team-mate.

He added: “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.”

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) AlphaTauri AT04. 05.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Race Day.

Having only accrued three points in the first 14 races of the season, AlphaTauri has since added 18 points to its tally to move into eighth place in the Constructors’ standings.

Despite squandering a probable top-10 finish in Mexico, Tsunoda has utilised the heavily upgraded AT04 car to secure points hauls in both the United States and Brazil.

With the Faenza squad set to be boosted by an increased technical synergy with Red Bull next year, Tsunoda believes its late-season progress stands it in good stead for 2024.

“It depends where we end up this season in the team standings,” he addressed. “It will help definitely for next years development and I think stuff [we have been doing] has finally paid off in terms of aggressive upgrades this season. This year we have been super aggressive with the upgrades but the first half the amount of step we were having was so small.

“Recent races we have been able to show, especially from Austin, the upgrades we have is a pretty good baseline. I’m not too sure about Las Vegas because they have a long straight which we are normally quite weak. Other than that, I think without the teams effort we wouldn’t be here.

“It’s good, hopefully we can finish above Williams. I think Williams is realistic because of last race so that would be the best. So, yeah. See how it goes.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *