Red Bull’s AlphaTauri team boss fuels rumours about Pérez successor claiming that “He will be ready for Red Bull”. Sergio Pérez has secured his place at Red Bull Racing this year. The Mexican’s contract extends until the end of the 2024 Formula 1 season, but if he has to vacate his cockpit afterwards, one of the most attractive jobs in the elite racing category will become vacant. One team boss can already imagine which driver could take the place.
Currently, the possibility that Red Bull will part with Max Verstappen at some point soon is out of the question. The situation is quite different with Sergio Pérez. The Mexican is clearly not on the same level as the world champion and, at the age of 33, is also rather on the home stretch of his career. Many believe that the next two years will be his last with the Red Bulls.
Who will replace Perez?
The big question is: Who could follow Pérez? Another external addition? Or a Red Bull homegrown driver? Or even a talent brought up from Formula 2? AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost is firmly convinced that one of his two current drivers has what it takes: Yuki Tsunoda.
“As far as I know, Sergio Pérez still has a contract for next year,” Tost initially rebuffed enquiries about an early move for the Japanese driver.
“All I can say is that Yuki is on the right track. He has improved in all areas. Nevertheless, I think he should still drive for AlphaTauri in 2024,” the Austrian simultaneously touted his driver, whom he would be reluctant to lose next year.
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Tost: Tsunoda has what it takes
But by 2025 at the latest, Tost added, “he [Tsunoda] will be ready for Red Bull”. He was very pleased with Tsunoda’s development, the team boss stressed. “He has driven two extremely strong races this year. The fact that we are not competitive is not his fault,” Tost said of the Japanese driver, who finished tenth in Melbourne to score points for the first time. He finished eleventh in each of the first two Grands Prix.
The Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda started in Formula 1 by replacing Daniil Kvyat and partnered Pierre Gasly at the team for the 2021 season. At the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Tsunoda finished in ninth place. After the race, Ross Brawn, Formula One’s technical director, hailed Tsunoda as “F1’s best rookie for years”.
Tsunoda secured 14th place in the 2021 drivers’ championship and ended the year on 32 points, and in 2022 he finished seventeenth in the drivers’ championship with 12 points to Gasly’s 23.
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So he claims that Yuki is ready for an A team. given Yuki’s results over the past years, And the number of mistakes and crashes, and the results of this year till now, yes, there is progress. Some may say lots of it. But that still does not mean that he is or will be a better driver than Checco, Just look at his results. And detract the car performance. Currently, Checco is not far off in the results from Max.
And thát brings us to the question what it means. Being a better replacement may just not mean being a better driver. It also could just mean that he is a just good enough driver to be a better “Bottas for Hamilton” of a better “dog”. Checco may just have grown in to be a little bit of a slightly too entitled rottweiler for the team to still be comfortable with. Not the level of Max – because who at this time can be – but too good to be the lapdog.
So the real question is: is the Bull a team that is strong enough to maintain two alpha’s, one of which is obviously more alpha than the other, or is Redbull ‘just a team’ like all the others, and can they just have an alpha and a bèta dog in the pack.