Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda have been confirmed to continue racing for AlphaTauri in Formula One next year. This announcement has significant implications for the team and the drivers involved. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for each of them.
Ricciardo’s Return to AlphaTauri
Daniel Ricciardo, who made his F1 comeback mid-season at AlphaTauri before sustaining a hand injury, will be returning full-time in 2024. This decision comes as no surprise, as Ricciardo’s move to AlphaTauri was always seen as a stepping stone towards a potential return to Red Bull Racing. As the sister team of Red Bull, AlphaTauri offers Ricciardo the opportunity to showcase his skills and make a claim for a seat alongside Max Verstappen in 2025.
Despite his comeback being cut short due to injury, Ricciardo has impressed Red Bull with glimpses of his talent and his renewed passion for the sport. Additionally, Ricciardo’s marketability adds value to the team. Now, he has the platform he needs to prove himself and convince Red Bull that he is ready to return to their ranks.
Tsunoda’s Continued Journey
Yuki Tsunoda, the Japanese driver, will be continuing for a fourth season at AlphaTauri. While this year may not have yielded the best results for Tsunoda in terms of points, his performances have shown improvement and consistency. He has stepped up as a team leader at AlphaTauri and demonstrated growth in his fitness, race preparations, and mental approach.
A fourth season with AlphaTauri provides Tsunoda with an opportunity to prove himself to Red Bull. Until now, a move to Red Bull’s senior team seemed unlikely for Tsunoda. However, by going up against a competitive and experienced benchmark like Ricciardo, Tsunoda can showcase his abilities and give Red Bull a chance to assess his performance.
The Future of Lawson
Liam Lawson, who deputized for the injured Ricciardo, has made a strong case for a full-time race seat. In his third Grand Prix start in Singapore, he achieved AlphaTauri’s best result of the season by finishing ninth. Lawson’s quick adaptation and calm approach have impressed the team.
While Lawson will return to his reserve role for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri next year, he will attend all F1 races as part of his role. This decision was made to keep him prepared for a potential full-time graduation in 2025. Red Bull aims to groom Lawson for future opportunities that may arise if there is a shake-up of drivers across its two teams.
With Ricciardo and Tsunoda confirmed for AlphaTauri, there is only one unconfirmed seat on the F1 grid for 2024, currently held by American driver Logan Sargeant at Williams. The driver lineup for the upcoming season is taking shape, and fans are eagerly awaiting further announcements.
In conclusion, the confirmation of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda continuing with AlphaTauri in Formula One next year has significant implications for both the drivers and the team. Ricciardo gets another shot at a return to Red Bull, Tsunoda gets another year to prove himself, and Lawson continues his journey as a reserve driver with potential for a full-time role in the future. The F1 grid for 2024 is gradually being filled, and the excitement for the upcoming season continues to build.