Tsunoda reveals how RB can help him become world champion after confirming 2026 contract detail

Yuki Tsunoda reached Q3 yet again in 2024, after RB announced his contract extension at the Canadian GP

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Yuki Tsunoda revealed there’s no 2026 option in his new contract after signing an extension for another 12 months at RB, but insisted becoming acclimatised to driving under pressure is vital pressure to help him become Formula 1 world champion.

With Tsunoda not considered for Lewis Hamilton‘s vacated Mercedes seat and the rest of the current constructors’ championship drives locked down for 2025, sixth-place RB was his best option based on current form after Sergio Perez was extended by Red Bull – before being dumped out of Q1 in Canada.

Tsunoda‘s scored 79% of RB‘s 2024 points ahead of the Canadian GP and his eighth place in Montreal qualifying meant he’s reached Q3 in three successive races, having only missed out twice all season, and afterwards he was asked whether there is any option to extend to 2026.

“No, but keep performing,” Tsunoda told select members of the press including Total-Motorsport.com. “It is tricky but I got used to it you know, maybe it’s a good team to train the pressure.

“In the end in F1, if you want to be world champion you need to deal with pressure and you have to be always the best. Still a lot of things I can improve on for myself so it’s ok.

“It clears up my mind and in the end VCARB is performing well and this is the team, I’m scoring points a lot and [it’d be] sad going out of the team and seeing VCARB ended up in a nice position.

“But jokes aside, Red Bull and Honda were always my part of my career and me and Red Bull is all aligned with the current situation for myself and for the future. So just keep focusing on what I’m doing and I’m very happy to support this team for this big project with that deal.”

Tsunoda disappointed with Canada Q3 effort

Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

With Honda powering Aston Martin from 2026, there had been hope that the Japanese prodigy would have a route into Silverstone but Fernando Alonso‘s two-year extension signed earlier in 2024 means Tsunoda would need to displace owner’s son Lance Stroll instead.

Honda backing was a crucial factor in Tsunoda securing his F1 debut with AlphaTauri in 2021 – then officially powered by The Power of Dreams – aged only 20 and just four years after his first full season in single-seaters.

His latest RB deal now heaps pressure on Daniel Ricciardo who’s the last member of Red Bull‘s current stable to be confirmed for 2025, but the Australian responded in fine style in Canada, qualifying fifth and two-tenths ahead of a frustrated Tsunoda.

“A lot left on the table I would say,” Tsunoda added. “I got a bit of an unfortunate gust from behind at turn two and I lost the car completely, lost a lot of time there, looking at Q2 I was pretty consistent and I was in the top five.

“So a pretty bad lap, I ended up P8 so mixed feelings but at the same time, I wasn’t really in good condition in free practices so it was a good turnaround anyway. And the first time for the team to end up top 10 with both cars.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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