Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda have been confirmed to continue racing for AlphaTauri in Formula One next year. This announcement comes after Ricciardo made his F1 comeback mid-season at AlphaTauri and sustained a hand injury, while Tsunoda has been with the team for three seasons. The decision to retain Ricciardo and Tsunoda leaves Liam Lawson, who filled in for the injured Ricciardo, in a reserve role for 2024.
Ricciardo’s return to AlphaTauri was always seen as a strategic move for his long-term career goals. Although driving the slowest car on the grid was not ideal, it provided him with an opportunity to showcase his skills and potentially secure a seat alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull Racing in 2025. Despite his comeback being cut short due to injury, Ricciardo’s potential has been recognized by Red Bull, and his time away from the sport allowed him to rediscover his love for F1. Additionally, Ricciardo’s marketability adds value to the team.
With another year at AlphaTauri, Tsunoda has the chance to prove himself to Red Bull. While his results this year have been disappointing, he has shown improvement in his performances and has taken on a leadership role within the team. Tsunoda’s focus on fitness, race preparations, and mental approach has paid off, allowing him to maximize the opportunities presented by the challenging AlphaTauri car. Going up against a competitive and experienced driver like Ricciardo will provide Tsunoda with a benchmark to assess his own performance and showcase his potential to Red Bull.
Liam Lawson, who made an impressive debut as a replacement for Ricciardo, will return to his reserve role for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri next year. Despite his strong performances, Lawson understands that he needs more experience before securing a full-time race seat. He will continue to attend all the F1 races as part of his role and will be prepared for a potential graduation in 2025 if an opportunity arises due to driver changes within the Red Bull teams.
With the confirmation of Ricciardo and Tsunoda, there is now only one unconfirmed seat on the F1 grid for 2024, which currently belongs to American driver Logan Sargeant at Williams.
In conclusion, the decision to retain Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri for the 2024 Formula One season sets the stage for their future aspirations. Ricciardo aims to secure a seat at Red Bull in 2025, while Tsunoda seeks to prove himself as a potential candidate for future opportunities within the senior team. Liam Lawson’s impressive performances have earned him a reserve role for next year, with the possibility of a full-time graduation in 2025. The F1 grid for 2024 is almost complete, with only one seat remaining unconfirmed.