Marko: Deciding RB driver line-up for 2025 ‘a luxury problem’


Helmut Marko says Red Bull is facing “a luxury problem” in terms of selecting the drivers that will fill the seats of the energy drink company’s second F1 team, Visa Cash App RB, in 2025.

The dust settled this week on Red Bull's driver lineup for its main outfit, with Sergio Perez securing another two years alongside Max Verstappen.

The focus now shifts to RB where a driver conundrum seemingly awaits.

RB CEO Peter Bayer recently expressed his satisfaction with both Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo.

But while there’s a solid case to be made for extending the former’s tenure with the Faenza-based squad, it’s harder to view Ricciardo’s future with the team as equally secure in light of his inability to consistently match his younger teammate's pace so far this season.

In Liam Lawson, Red Bull’s official reserve driver, RB has a quality young driver at its disposal to slot into one of its seats in 2025.

The young Kiwi showed a clear glimpse of his impressive talent last season when he substituted for an injured Ricciardo during five races. But it’s unclear what Red Bull intends to do with the 22-year-old charger.

“With Liam Lawson as reserve, we have a strong driver who, contractually, can drive for another team if he does not get a seat with us in 2025,” Marko told Kleine Zeitung.

“In this sense, it would be nice if we could see him in Formula 1 this year to have a clearer picture, but it is a complex issue. We will have to see how things evolve.”


Queried on RB’s various options for 2025, Marko described the team’s driver conundrum as “a luxury problem”.

Adding to the riddle involving RB, the Austrian alluded to the possibility of promoting its second Japanese protégé, Super Formula charger Ayumu Iwasa, to an F1 seat, while Red Bull is also closely monitoring the performances of Frenchman Isack Hadjar, a race winner in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

“In addition to Tsunoda, we have another Honda driver who is completing good races and that is Iwasa,” he explained.

“He has not won a race yet this year because he had two bad starts, but he is still third in the championship.

“These are two Japanese drivers who have a long-term contract with us, so we have to see how that goes in the long term.

“We have Hadjar who is doing very well in Formula 2 and also [Pepe] Marti, although he still makes too many mistakes,” Marko added.

“With Hadjar you have to remember that he was knocked around during the first race and that he has also had technical problems twice, while he was in a winning position.

“He’s still second in the championship, so he’s definitely one of the fastest and most consistent guys in this year’s championship.”

Marko said that Red Bull’s revived pool of talent also extends down to Formula 3.

“We also have fast guys in Formula 3,” he said. “A few years ago they all said that our juniors would not perform well enough, but what do they have to say now?” he concluded.

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