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Yuki Tsunoda

Lawson misses out on full-time F1 chance as AlphaTauri confirm Tsunoda and Ricciardo

AlphaTauri has named Yuki Tsunoda to one of its two race seats for a fourth season in F1.

Tsunoda Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

AlphaTauri has confirmed Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo will drive for the team next season.

Tsunoda will stay on for a fourth season with the Faezna-based outfit as it transitions to a new era with Laurent Mekies taking over as Team Principal and Peter Bayer as CEO with Franz Tost stepping down at the end of the current campaign.

The Japanese driver had been impressive in the first half of the season, performing admirably as the de facto team leader following former teammate Pierre Gasly's winter switch to Alpine.

Nyck de Vries' inability to match Tsunoda saw the Dutchman ousted after just 10 rounds, with Ricciardo - who remains sidelined after injuring his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix - and Liam Lawson taking their places in the second AT04 since.

With New Zealander Lawson displaying fine form in his opening three races in F1, including a points finish in Singapore, alongside two consecutive races at which Tsunoda has failed to complete a flying lap, questions had been raised over the latter's future.

There was a suggestion that Tsunoda could have left his race seat for a year as third and reserve driver at the senior Red Bull team, but this has not come to fruition with Tsunoda set to stay in the race seat.

CEO Bayer has previously spoken of his desire to pair an experienced driver and a younger one together in 2024 when the team is expected to undergo a significant rebrand.

This almost guaranteed Ricciardo's future with the team but any concerns that Tsunoda would take a step away from a race seat have been put to bed by the confirmation on Saturday, with Lawson forced to await his turn for a full-time role.

“Next year, the technical regulations remain largely unchanged and it was therefore logical to go for continuity in our driver line-up too," said Tost.

"I am very pleased with the development that Yuki has shown over the last two and a half years with our team and with Daniel’s great race-winning experience we will have one of the most competitive driver pairings on the grid in 2024.

"Peter and Laurent will have a great duo to start the new season in the right direction.

"As for Liam, who has impressed everyone in his races so far, he will definitely help the team in his development role as a third driver, and I’m sure he will have a future in Formula 1 soon.”

 Bayer added: “We are in a privileged position, where we have access to multiple great talents from the Red Bull world.

"This is a credit to the work that Dr. Helmut Marko has been doing for many years.

"Both Daniel and Yuki have not just shown fantastic race craft but are also great global ambassadors for our team and our sport. Liam put himself in the spotlight of F1 in only three races and I am very happy that we can continue to prepare him for his future.”

F1 2023 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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