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RB boss Bayer hails Tsunoda for ‘big step forward’ in 2024 as he makes statement on his future

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Yuki Tsunoda has delivered “a big step up” in his performance so far this season according to RB CEO Peter Bayer, who would like to see the Japanese racer extend his stay at the team.

Tsunoda is contesting his fourth F1 campaign with the Faenza outfit, having debuted in 2021 when they were known as AlphaTauri, and has impressed many in the paddock with his recent performances.

READ MORE: ‘We deserved these points’ says Tsunoda after sealing first top-10 finish in Monaco

Indeed, at the eight Grands Prix staged so far, the 24-year-old reached Q3 six times and scored points on five occasions, pushing RB up to sixth in the constructors’ standings ahead of Haas, Williams, Alpine and Kick Sauber.

It comes after Tsunoda faced criticism in the early stages of his F1 career for a series of mistakes and a tendency to send angry, expletive-laden radio messages from the cockpit when sessions were not going his way.

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Tsunoda has come a long way since his debut F1 season and some challenging early moments

Assessing Tsunoda’s efforts across the 2024 season so far, Bayer said: “I definitely believe he has made a big step forward. It’s physical preparation, but it’s also his mental readiness to perform and deliver.

“One example I mentioned the other day… I think he simply understood that every time he would be swearing on the radio, that would cost him a tenth. So, he’s got himself under control.

READ MORE: How RB are leading the midfield ‘ahead of plan’ and setting the pace for a sustainable future

“He’s extremely professional in the work that he’s putting into the feedback with the engineers, and yes, he definitely made a big step up.”

Bayer was then asked if he and RB are keen to keep Tsunoda onboard for what would be a milestone fifth season in 2025, to which the Austrian simply replied: “Yes.”

Getting to know Yuki Tsunoda

As for when RB are going to confirm their 2025 driver line-up, Bayer added that the squad’s current focus is on delivering the best possible car for Tsunoda and team mate Daniel Ricciardo.

“I think we’re very happy with both of our drivers, and honestly, we’re not wasting time with discussing ifs and whens,” he went on to comment.

READ MORE: Tsunoda assesses future F1 options as long-time backers Honda get set for Aston Martin tie-up

“We have a very strong line-up, we have a great reserve driver [in Liam Lawson], we have great talent coming through F2, F3 and, currently, it’s all about focusing on performance.”

Amid reported interest from elsewhere on the grid, Tsunoda recently expressed his “loyalty” to the brand who gave him his F1 chance, but also commented that “if I get an interesting offer that is better than [RB] or Red Bull then I’ll think about it.”

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