Yuki Tsunoda on the radar at Alpine, Williams and Haas

Jaden Diaz

Yuki Tsunoda is attracting plenty of interest in the driver market. The 24-year-old has been a top performer in F1 this year, demonstrating immense speed and consistency. Despite this, his prospects for a promotion at Red Bull are very slim. Considering the volume of seats available for 2025, Tsunoda is investigating (and attracting) alternatives.

In interviews, Tsunoda has been very loyal to VCARB. There is good reason for this, given that the Faenza-based team has been competitive this year. At least for the short term, racing with the Racing Bulls should provide him with the tools to show off his abilities. Moreover, as Helmut Marko has confirmed, Tsunoda has very strong ties with Red Bull – partly thanks to Honda’s involvement.

Still, despite these internal dynamics, there are other routes the Japanese driver is looking at for 2025.


Before the 2024 season began, there was plenty of excitement surrounding VCARB. However, much of the media attention was placed on Daniel Ricciardo. Much like last year (when De Vries joined the team), Tsunoda was largely written off.

Evidently, the consensus in many F1 circles was wrong. Tsunoda is beating comfortably in both qualifying and race. The issue, simply put, is that his performances change nothing about his perception within Red Bull.

Christian Horner does not see the 24-year-old as Red Bull material. This is especially relevant this year, as the team principal’s influence on driver choice – compared to Helmut Marko – is understood to have grown.

Therefore, Red Bull is very much a dead end. To secure a long-term contract in Formula 1, with a team that sees him as central to their aspirations, other options must be considered.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 26: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Visa Cash App RB prepares to drive on the grid during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405260484 // Usage for editorial use only //


According to the BBC’s Andrew Benson, there are possibilities for Tsunoda at several midfield teams. This is hardly a surprise, given he is comfortably one of the fastest drivers outside the top 5 teams.

Whilst none of these teams are guaranteed destinations for 2025, they all represent genuine possibilities. After all, should Tsunoda agree to a two-year deal with a midfield team, he will have some security and be well-positioned for the 2026 transfer market – which could be as volatile as this year’s.

The question, of course, is whether the grass is greener on the other side.

In terms of performance, the answer is unclear. Alpine aren’t exactly covering themselves in glory at the moment, and Haas lacks the resources to compete at the front. Williams are certainly an exciting project in the long term, but their current performance is nothing spectacular.

Regardless of these reservations, there are alternatives available to Tsunoda if he wants them. Other big players like Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon are in the mix, though at least one spot outside of the Red Bull setup should be available. As ever, time will tell how the market evolves.