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Yuki Tsunoda Once Made Eddie Jordan Recall How Honda’s $18 Million Forced Him to Axe a Driver He Desperately Wanted to Keep

Sabyasachi Biswas

Yuki Tsunoda Once Made Eddie Jordan Recall How Honda’s $18 Million Forced Him to Axe a Driver He Desperately Wanted to Keep

Yuki Tsunoda is having his best start to an F1 season ever and is showing the community why he deserves a seat at the pinnacle of motorsports. Still, there are some experts including Eddie Jordan, who feel that Honda’s backing pushed Tsunoda to F1 and keeps him there. Tsunoda’s entire ordeal reminded Jordan of his own time in F1, and how he dealt with something very similar.

Jordan, who owned an F1 team named after him, opened up about Honda’s habit of putting team bosses under pressure in an episode of the Formula For Success podcast. He recalled how they asked him to push out the in-form Heinz-Herald Frentzen and replace him with Takuma Sato, who was Japanese.

Jordan said, “It was their prerogative and I understood it. And I took a decision. With the money what the engine was gonna cost was about $18 million. And I’m saying to myself, is Frentzen worth $18 million? And the answer clearly was no” 

Jordan’s hands were tied. With his team being independently owned, the Irishman had no choice but to choose $18 million over his driver. As he added on the podcast, Frentzen was then sacked, and Sato became a driver for Jordan instead.

In the months to come, it was evident that Sato wasn’t as good as Frentzen was. The latter won three races and had 18 podium finishes to his name by the time he tired. Sato on the other hand, could amass just a single podium finish throughout his F1 career. While this is a strong example of Honda’s alleged “prerogative”, Tsunoda’s case is completely different.

How is Yuki Tsunoda different?

Tsunoda came into the 2024 season, under a lot of pressure to deliver. In contractual terms, it is his last season with V-CARB, and to either extend his stay or join a better team, he had to perform well. Thankfully for him, so far, he has exceeded all expectations.

Tsunoda has outperformed his teammate Daniel Ricciardo comprehensively and has been the only point scorer in his team. He has proved that he belongs at V-CARB so far, and is also making a strong case for joining Red Bull in 2025.

Regardless, F1 expert Karun Chandhok feels, Tsunoda’s current pedigree isn’t enough for a Red Bull seat. The Austrian team, especially Max Verstappen’s entourage, favors Sergio Perez as the Dutchman’s teammate. That would be enough to close the door for the young Japanese driver.

Additionally, with Honda set to leave Red Bull and V-CARB at the end of 2025, Tsunoda’s ‘backing’ could disappear. If what Jordan says is true, Tsunoda could have to work exceptionally hard to keep his place in F1.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Sabyasachi Biswas

Sabyasachi Biswas


Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush. With over one and a half decades of love for the sport and five years of experience in the field, he dreams to be a regular at the paddock when the lights go out. A Red Bull fan and F1 fan in general over the years, he enjoyed watching Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, and Max Verstappen dominate the track. Apart from F1, he's also a big-time Madridista and Federer fanatic. He was a sub-junior level footballer, won inter-district quizzes and debate competitions back in school. A travel freak throughout, he tries different cuisines and learns new cultures whenever he's away from the keyboard.

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