AlphaTauri boss suggests 22-year-old will replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull

Yuki Tsunoda joined AlphaTauri in 2021 and is only contracted until the end of this season, with him having only ever been offered one-year extensions.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost believes Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda “will finally be ready for Red Bull” in 2025, hinting that he could be used to replace Sergio Perez.

Should Tsunoda replace Perez at Red Bull in 2025, it would actually work very well for the Milton Keynes-based team, given that Perez’s contract expires at the end of 2024.

Due to his age, Perez isn’t the future of Red Bull, with the Mexican set to be almost 35 years old when his contract expires.

With reigning World Champion Max Verstappen also threatening to leave the sport at the end of 2028, Red Bull need a young driver to take them into the future, something Tost seemingly believes Tsunoda could be.

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The Japanese driver is only contracted until the end of this season at AlphaTauri, although, Tost would like to see him given another new deal.

Tsunoda has started 2023 well, with the 22-year-old having finished 11th in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, before claiming his first point of the season in Australia on Sunday after finishing P10.

He’s certainly shown strong pace consistently and has demonstrated considerable improvement in relation to his attitude, something which was questioned in 2021 and 2022.

The only thing letting Tsunoda down is that the Faenza-based team “aren’t competitive yet”, something Tost is very aware of.

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“Yuki drove two extremely strong races so far,” Tost said.

“I am very happy with him. It’s not his fault that we aren’t competitive yet.”

Tost does seem very confident that Tsunoda will become the first AlphaTauri driver since Alex Albon to be promoted from the sister team to Red Bull, but that 2024 might be too soon.

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Red Bull are likely set to honour Perez’s contract given how well he’s started this season, what their plan is beyond 2024, though, is another question.

“As far as I know, Sergio Perez still has a contract for next year,” added Tost.

“All I can say is that Yuki is on the right track. He has improved in every respect. But I think he should drive at AlphaTauri again in 2024. In 2025, I think he will finally be ready for Red Bull.”