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Yuki Tsunoda extends contract with Visa CashApp RB through to 2025

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

Yuki Tsunoda has signed a fresh deal with the Visa CashApp RB outfit that will take him till the end of 2025, before the dawn of the new engine regulations.

Tsunoda is a rare talent, having graduated from Formula 4 to Formula One in a span of four years, having raced only one season each in Formula 3 and Formula 2, before being snapped up by the erstwhile AlphaTauri outfit ahead of the 2021 season, replacing the outgoing Daniil Kvyat.

Tsunoda is currently racing in his fourth season of Formula One, and has been improving steadily with every passing season. After a tough rookie season which saw him push too hard and crash into the barriers often, the Japanese youngster has impressed the bosses at RB (formerly AlphaTauri) and at the senior team in Milton Keynes with a number of standout performances.

Fourth in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in his rookie season affirmed the progress Tsunoda had made in his rookie season, while a sterling drive from 16th on the grid to eighth by the flag at the season opener in Bahrain certainly showed his potential, at the dawn of the ground effect era.

He would score more points only three rounds later in Imola, taking an impressive seventh-place finish after qualifying 16th for the sprint, and 12th for the main race.

Despite experiencing crashes in qualifying at Monaco and Canada, and later crashing into teammate Gasly in Silverstone and Ocon in Canada, Tsunoda would soldier on, learning along the way. He would break a run of 12 races without a point by finishing tenth at Austin, before scoring points at Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi to round off the season.

2023 could arguably be described as the young Japanese driver's breakthrough season, as he put in multiple impressive performances all season. Two 11th places and two tenth places were only a glimpse of the raw speed Tsunoda possessed, often outperforming the potential of his AlphaTauri, and outclassing teammate Nyck de Vries.

Towards the end of the season, the AlphaTauri racer put in some standout performances, most notably finishing tenth in Austin, and taking the fastest lap of the race on the final tour, before being promoted to eighth. An excellent qualifying at Sao Paulo saw him take sixth in the sprint, challenging the much quicker Ferrari of Leclerc along the way, before he would take ninth in the race.

He would hold off Lewis Hamilton in a final-lap dash at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, securing eighth on the road, and rounding out a tough season for the Italian team on a high, matching his best championship position of 14th from his rookie season.

Once again, Tsunoda has stepped up another notch in 2024, as he currently sits tenth in the standings with 19 points to his name, thanks to stellar points-scoring finishes, namely seventh in Australia, tenth at his home race in Japan, and scoring strong points at Miami, with eighth in the sprint and another seventh in the main race.

He would also go on to reach Q3 in the all-important qualifying session at Monaco, and score four more points on race day, finishing eighth, and fending off Alex Albon's Williams all along the race.

Tsunoda has been subject to plenty of rumours and has been linked to contracts with many teams on the grid, including Aston Martin who will be powered by Honda in 2026, however, his team VCARB have confirmed the young Japanese racer's extension with the team until the end of 2025.

“I’m very happy to be staying with Visa Cash App RB and it’s a good feeling to have my future decided so early in the year,” said the Japanese driver. “For that, I want to thank everyone at Red Bull and Honda who have played such an important role in my career and will continue to do so.

“The team has a big development project ahead and I’m excited to be part of it. It’s great to know that everyone appreciates all the hard work I have put in and that the team believes I can help it move further up the grid.

“We have already made clear progress this season and that really motivates me to always give my best and that’s what I’ll continue to do with VCARB.

“For the moment, I’m concentrating on the remaining races this season, with the aim of bringing home as many points as possible, always growing with the team, laying the groundwork to do even better next year!”

And do better next year he would, as Tsunoda is a quick learner, and someone who tends to show an upward trajectory in performance with every passing year. He will continue to shine for the team, with many more opportunities expected to be available as the team continues to develop their car and be in the running for points every race weekend.


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