Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo will be AlphaTauri’s lineup in 2024, leaving no full-time race seat for Liam Lawson.
The New Zealander has impressed as a stand-in for the injured Ricciardo since the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort, but on Saturday morning in Japan it was confirmed by AlphaTauri that Ricciardo will be in the seat in 2024, with Tsunoda also retained. It means a fourth consecutive season for the Japanese driver who has shown strong improvement over the past 12 months.
“I’m so happy to announce that I will be staying with Scuderia AlphaTauri for the 2024 Formula 1 season,” Tsunoda said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to fight and collaborate with the team and Daniel.
“Obviously I’ll push as much as possible for the rest of the season and beyond, to progress as a driver. I’m grateful for Red Bull and Honda, for continuing to support and believe in me, and very happy and thankful to continue the partnership.”
For Ricciardo it’s a show of faith after two encouraging performances prior to his Zandvoort crash, with the Australian currently targeting a return from a broken metacarpal at either the next race in Qatar or in Austin two weeks later.
“I’m stoked to be driving with Yuki again next year and continuing the journey with Scuderia AlphaTauri,” Ricciardo said. “Following the progress we have already made and the plans for the future, it’s an exciting time for the team. We are building and it is a great feeling. There is a lot of work to do, but we are heading in the right direction and there is a lot to look forward to. Bring on 2024!”
Outgoing AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost believes the combination of Tsunoda and Ricciardo mixes experience with performance that provides the team with a formidable lineup.
“Next year, the technical regulations remain largely unchanged, and it was therefore logical to go for continuity in our driver lineup too,” Tost said. “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 (Bayer, CEO) and Laurent (Mekies, new team principal) 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.”
With Lawson missing out on a race seat despite scoring two points in Singapore on just his third start for the team, Bayer admits picking between the drivers was a good problem for Red Bull and AlphaTauri to have.
“We are in a privileged position, where we have access to multiple great talents from the Red Bull world,” Bayer said. “This is a credit to the work that Dr. 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.”