Red Bull told to snub Daniel Ricciardo and replace Sergio Perez with 23-year-old

Daniel Ricciardo has been linked with a return to Red Bull, as Sergio Perez is set to lose his seat as Max Verstappen's team-mate.

Yuki Tsunoda’s former team manager, Trevor Carlin, believes the Japanese racer can become Max Verstappen’s teammate and also offers an “entertaining character” for the Red Bull driving roster.

Although Tsunoda struggled against Pierre Gasly in his first two seasons in F1, he has greatly improved his form in 2023.

Tsunoda has dominated fellow AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries, beating him in every race except one.

Red Bull’s driver Sergio Perez has seen a recent downturn in form and his contract with the team expires in 2024.

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Carlin commented on Yuki: “Unfortunately, his improvement in pace has coincided with the deterioration of the speed of AlphaTauri so he’s got better as the car’s got worse.”

Carlin believes that Yuki is being underserved by AlphaTauri and would thrive in the Red Bull team.

He believes Tsunoda’s personality is a reason he would be a great fit, saying: “Yuki is the kind of guy that would relish the opportunity and he’d be fully committed.”

“God knows what would happen but he’d be entertaining, go flat out and he might surprise a few people. I’d love to see Yuki do it.”

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AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost agrees with Carlin’s assessment of Yuki, saying that the Japanese driver could be ready for a promotion soon.

Tost also envisions Yuki taking over the reins from Perez and becoming Verstappen’s teammate.

Tost agrees with Carlin’s criticism of AlphaTauri and the competitiveness of their cars.

Talking about Yuki, the AlphaTauri boss says: “I am very happy with him. It’s not his fault that we aren’t competitive yet.”

“As far as I know, Sergio Perez still has a contract for next year. All I can say is that Yuki is on the right track. He has improved in every respect. In 2025, I think he will finally be ready for Red Bull.”

Not everyone is so certain about the young Japanese racer’s place on the Red Bull team.

READ: Helmut Marko suggests Red Bull would be better off signing Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso

Red Bull chief Christian Horner said: “I don’t think he’s at our level yet but he’s making great progress and we’re seeing he’s maturing as a driver.”

Horner continued: “We’re not short of options for the team but we have a commitment with both of our drivers.”

“The best thing he can do is perform at a very high level in the AlphaTauri.”