Helmut Marko says there is no intention of burning the ‘rough diamond’ that is Yuki Tsunoda by promoting him too early to Red Bull’s main team despite the Japanese driver’s impressive Formula 1 debut in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Tsunoda made his Formula 1 bow at the Bahrain International Circuit last month for Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda and scored points with a ninth-place finish, the first Japanese driver to score points in his debut Grand Prix.
He may have qualified outside of the top ten, but the twenty-year-old marked himself out to be a star in the making by pulling off some bold moves to break into the top ten, with his final lap pass on Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team’s Lance Stroll ensuring he scored two points with ninth place.
Now Marko, an advisor for Red Bull, says despite the impressive start, they are looking to manage Tsunoda’s career and ensure he only makes the step up to Red Bull Racing when the time is right, and the driver is ready.
“The way he goes about it, the way he makes the car fly,” said Marko to German publication Formel1.de. “He’s also a charismatic, funny guy. We are very happy to have him.”
“We’ve had the first of 23 races, so let’s see how things develop. We have an incredible rough diamond in Yuki. We’re not going to burn him.
“We will look at the development and then make our decisions in a timely manner.”