Ricciardo and Tsunoda open to RB stays after Perez extension

Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda are both accepting of Red Bull’s decision to extend Sergio Perez’s contract, despite it appearing to end their hopes of replacing him.

Perez will remain with Red Bull until at least the end of the 2026 season after signing a two-year contract extension, with Max Verstappen also under a long-term contract. There has been uncertainty over Verstappen’s future in recent months, but for now the Red Bull line-up appears locked in, and Ricciardo admits he hadn’t done enough to force his way into the team’s thinking.

“I don’t think it means anything in terms of ‘Oh that’s it’,” Ricciardo said. “I don’t see it as I maybe won’t get a chance or anything. I’ve had one amazing result in Miami, but then the rest of my season hasn’t been obviously what I expect out of myself. I want my season to go better than it is to really help with any opportunities like that, so I’m also realistic.


“Even though each weekend is maybe one step forward, I still want it to be progressing quicker, but I do think we are taking steps. And I still believe I can turn it around, just do better moving forward, kick some butt and then obviously if I am here next year then that will also make me happy.”

Ricciardo says remaining with RB is his main target now, and has been for a number of races due to the form he has been showing.

“To be honest, the mindset hasn’t changed,” he said. “Obviously we’re not halfway through the season yet but we’re fairly into it now, and as I said, I’ve had one result which I was really, really happy with and then others where I’ve been maybe less so.

“So I guess I just hold myself accountable for not doing anything too spectacular, and when you’re trying to fight for a top seat you need to be doing some pretty awesome things. So that’s why I say I don’t think it means it will never happen, it’s still a place I would love to say finish my career, but obviously now in the short-term that’s not going to happen.

“So mindset-wise that was still an end goal, but right now I’m here and stated that I need to do well and get some more points, and I’m happy doing that there. I think the team’s doing a good job to help me out with that, so it’s just up to me.”

Tsunoda has also been linked with a move away from the Red Bull set-up, but says the Perez news doesn’t change what is a primary target of staying with RB, despite interest from elsewhere.

“I knew it kind of before already,” Tsunoda said. “Even it’s two years, you have to still perform. In this kind of environment, anything can happen. Congrats to him, and other than that, just keep focusing on what I’m doing and proving myself.

“The team’s definitely happy with me, which all counts. Team’s happy, I’m happy. And hopefully we can have a formal discussion. But it’s definitely ongoing. And hopefully we can be in public [working] in the same way, on the same page. Currently we’re having a good direction together.

“I think this year has been a different situation. Good things that I also got out of it are a couple of options from others [teams], which is a good thing that I’m able to grow my value as well. And at the same time, especially in this interesting drivers’ market, I wanted to make myself secure to focus for the rest of the races.

“Now definitely, first of all, the priority is Red Bull, make sure we’re on the same page, because Red Bull is part of my life so far. Without them, we wouldn’t achieve this much.”

Story originally appeared on Racer