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Formula 1 Qatar GP

Tsunoda doesn’t want Red Bull ‘misunderstanding’ over Aston Martin F1 links

Yuki Tsunoda hopes that his bosses do not “misunderstand” his commitment to Red Bull's Formula 1 effort, amid rumours linking him to Aston Martin.

Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTaur,  attending the FIA press conference

The Japanese driver has just had his contract at AlphaTauri extended for another year, with him set to line-up alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

With much intrigue about what Red Bull will do with its own second seat in 2025 if Sergio Perez is not retained, next season could be make or break for Tsunoda if he is ever going to get the chance to step up.

Tsunoda’s situation does have an added complication because of strong links he has to Honda, which is understood to help provide backing to Red Bull for his seat.

With the Japanese manufacturer leaving Red Bull at the end of 2025 to join Aston Martin, that has inevitably opened the door to speculation that Tsunoda could change camps with it.

But Tsunoda wants Red Bull to know that he is not thinking of an Aston Martin future at all – and instead is eager to impress enough next year so can step up to partner Max Verstappen.

Asked in Qatar if he felt he had a shot at the Red Bull cockpit, Tsunoda said: “I hope so, to be honest.

“Obviously, the main thing is I don't want Red Bull to misunderstand something – like for example that I'm just focusing now on Aston Martin or anything [like that].

“I'm at AlphaTauri, and I've been with Red Bull since I was 18-years-old. So, I am now focusing to perform for Red Bull, not for Aston Martin.

“Hopefully they don't have misunderstood those things and hopefully they really consider my future seriously.

“If I perform well as a driver, hopefully they consider me more and obviously, if I didn't, I understand. But if I'm able to show my performance, I would like to have a bit more kind of rotation.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Tsunoda hoped that Red Bull did not think that Honda’s future switch to Aston Martin was enough to have any influence on its call on whether or not he could be moved across.

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For he felt that what Honda wanted above all else was for a Japanese driver to succeed in F1, even if it was not with one of its engines.

Asked if the Aston Martin decision could complicate Red Bull’s thought process, Tsunoda said: “If that's the case, I'm not happy with it.

“I don't know how the conversations are going [at Red Bull] with Honda, because Honda is still supplying the engine.

“But I think from the Honda side, what they're saying is that as long as I can succeed, as long as a Japanese driver can one day achieve success, they don't care where I go.

“They want a Japanese driver to be successful. Obviously, it would be lucky if we worked together and achieved success [together], but in the end they don't care about it. And that's what I really like about Honda.

“They don't care which team you are at. So, I don't think they're really focusing on Aston Martin or whatever. They are just focusing as a driver, on Yuki Tsunoda, and the support to make me a successful driver.”

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