Red Bull warn Aston Martin about trying to steal their driver

Lance Stroll is set to be fired by Aston Martin, despite his father, Canadian billionaire Lawrence, owning the team.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has warned Aston Martin that if they’re interested in Yuki Tsunoda then they must talk to the Austrians, as the Japanese driver is “under contract”.

Tsunoda recently signed a one-year extension with Red Bull sister side AlphaTauri, keeping him in the Red Bull family until at least the end of 2024.

However, it’s been reported that Aston Martin are interested in the driver possibly for 2026, when they become a Honda works team.

The Japanese manufacturer have supported Tsunoda’s career and are believed to be keen to continue working with the driver, something Honda’s racing chief Koji Watanabe has even admitted.

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Honda’s move to Aston Martin in 2026 comes as Red Bull will enter the new power unit regulations as their own powertrain supplier, with technical support from Ford.

With Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin contract expiring at the end of 2024, then Tsunoda could even complete the switch in 2025; however, Marko has stressed that for it to happen any sooner, then a deal must be struck with Red Bull.

“Tsunoda is under contract with us,” Marko told F1 Insider. “If Aston Martin were interested in him as early as next year, they would first have to come to an agreement with us.”

Tsunoda is more than aware of the speculation linking him to Aston Martin and it appears that he’s not a particular fan of it.

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He’s concerned that the rumours will make Red Bull think he’s focusing on Aston Martin, something he insists isn’t true.

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Tsunoda is intent on fighting for a potential future seat in the main Red Bull team and wants to be considered for a promotion in 2025, with him hoping that the Austrians consider his “future seriously”.

“I don’t want Red Bull to misunderstand something – for example, that I’m just focusing now on Aston Martin or anything,” Tsunoda said, as reported by The Mirror.

“I’m in AlphaTauri and I’ve been with Red Bull since I was 18 years old. I’m focusing on performing for Red Bull. Not for Aston Martin or something like that.

“Hopefully [Red Bull] haven’t misunderstood those things and hopefully they really consider my future seriously. If I perform better than other drivers then hopefully they consider [me] more.”