AlphaTauri does not change. In fact, relaunch. The Faenza-based team announced today that it has renewed the contracts of its regular drivers, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo, also for the next Formula 1 season.
An announcement far from being a surprise. The insistent rumors have been circulating in the paddock for several days and now the official announcement has arrived with the press release issued by Scuderia AlphaTauri. Furthermore, Motorsport.com had already informed you of the successful negotiation between the team and the two standard bearers in a preview article.
In 2024 the Italian-Austrian team will change many things: the name, the main sponsor, the team principal (Laurent Mekies, who left Ferrari a few weeks ago). But the drivers will be one of the fixed points from which to start again in an attempt to reverse the trend of recent seasons, which has seen the team currently managed by Franz Tost slip in the Constructors’ ranking to the point of occupying, to date, the last, taking on the role of bringing up the rear of the world champion Circus.
Yuki Tsunoda will thus race with AlphaTauri for the fourth consecutive year. His debut with the Faenza team, and in Formula 1, took place at the beginning of 2021. From then until today, the Japanese has scored 47 points in three seasons and achieved 14th place overall as the best placing in the Drivers’ World Championship. The best result in a grand prix, however, was obtained at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021, with a fourth place finish. This year, however, there were three points finishes. Three tenth places arrived in Australia, Azerbaijan and Belgium.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to fight and collaborate with the team and with Daniel. Obviously, I will push hard for the rest of the season and beyond, to progress as a rider. I’m grateful to Red Bull and Honda, for continuing to support me and believe in me, and I am very happy and grateful to continue the partnership.”
Daniel Ricciardo instead returned to racing for the Faenza team this year, 10 years after the last race held in 2013, taking over from Nyck De Vries starting from the Hungarian Grand Prix. For him only two grands prix without points before injuring his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix, where he fractured a bone in an accident during free practice.
“I am excited to drive with Yuki again next year and to continue the journey with Scuderia AlphaTauri. After the progress already made and the plans for the future, it is an exciting time for the Scuderia. We are building and it is a fantastic feeling. C ‘There’s a lot of work to do, but we’re going in the right direction and there’s a lot to look forward to. On to 2024!’
The confirmation of Tsunoda and Ricciardo also means that Liam Lawson, barring any big surprises, will be forced to return as third driver and reserve driver for both Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri during the next season, but still ready to take over if the need arises .
For Lawson, the doors of Formula 1 should open again in 2025, when Sergio Perez’s contract with Red Bull expires and it will be possible for one of the AlphaTauri drivers to take his place, in turn leaving the seat free in the satellite team.
AlphaTauri has made it known that the New Zealander will return to the role of reserve, tester and simulator operator to help Red Bull and AlphaTauri during the 2024 season, i.e. taking a step back while waiting to take a step forward the following year.
Liam Lawson made his Formula 1 debut this season as a replacement for the injured Daniel Ricciardo at the Dutch Grand Prix. Lawson got into the car at the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort, after the weekend had already begun, immediately taking a good 13th place. He did better the following weekend, coming close to scoring at the Italian Grand Prix, finishing 11th. Then here are the first points of his career which arrived at the Singapore Grand Prix, with ninth place in Marina Bay.
“Next year the technical regulations will remain largely unchanged,” declared Franz Tost, Team Principal of Scuderia AlphaTauri, “And it was therefore logical to focus on continuity also in the driver training. I am very satisfied with the development that Yuki has shown in recent years. two and a half years with our team and with Daniel’s great racing experience we will have one of the most competitive driver duos on the grid in 2024.”
“Peter (Bayer) and Laurent (Mekies) will have a great pairing to start the new season in the right direction. As for Liam, who has impressed everyone in his races so far, he will certainly help the team in his development role as third driver , and I’m sure he will soon have a future in Formula 1.”
These are instead the statements of Peter Bayer, CEO of Scuderia AlphaTauri: “We are in a privileged position, in which we have access to several great talents from the Red Bull world. This is a credit to the work that Dr. Marko has done for many years” .
“Both Daniel and Yuki have not only demonstrated fantastic racing ability, but are also great global ambassadors for our team and our sport. Liam has put himself in the F1 spotlight in just three races and I am very happy that we can continue to prepare him for his future.”
Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool