Tsunoda at Aston Martin would be ‘great’ – Honda

Wed, 6 March 2024, 09:00

Mar.6 (GMM) Honda says no decision has been taken as to whether Yuki Tsunoda will move on from the Red Bull family next year.

In Bahrain, Tsunoda’s relationship with teammate Daniel Ricciardo got off to a bad start in 2024 when the Japanese driver lost his cool over a team order.

Koji Watanabe, boss of Red Bull Racing and RB’s engine partner Honda Racing Corporation, admits that it’s not clear yet if Tsunoda, 23, will still be backed by Red Bull beyond 2024.

“They (Red Bull) will be with us until 2025, so if Yuki is a driver who can win, of course they would want him,” he told the Japanese outlet as-web.jp.

“In my regular meetings with Red Bull, I am told that it depends on performance this year. They have high expectations, and in order to live up to them, in my personal opinion, there needs to be a podium.

“Of course, the word ‘podium’ was not mentioned, but I believe that in order to make it to the top team, you have to perform at that level, and I believe that he can do it,” Watanabe added.

However, it appears more than likely that Red Bull will actually give the impressive-in-2023 substitute Liam Lawson his full-time F1 debut at RB next year.

It coincides with rumours that Honda, given the looming end of its collaboration with Red Bull and RB, and the move to a new works partnership with Aston Martin for 2026, could see Tsunoda make the move too.

“I haven’t thought about it,” Watanabe insists.

“I’ve said to Yuki that I want him to do his thing without being tied down to Honda. Just because we are partnering with Aston Martin from 2026 does not mean that Honda-trained drivers have to go to Aston Martin.

“The important thing is that the drivers trained by Honda are successful, no matter what team they work for. But it would be great if we were on the same team,” he admits.

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