As the 2023 Formula 1 season unfolds, the AlphaTauri team finds itself in a precarious position with no confirmed driver for the 2024 season. However, amidst the uncertainty, Yuki Tsunoda, the Japanese sensation, has shed light on who he believes might steer the AlphaTauri ship in the coming year. Tsunoda, on the cusp of announcing his own contract extension, hinted that if AlphaTauri aims for more stellar results, they might opt for the experienced Daniel Ricciardo.
Tsunoda, currently gearing up for his home race weekend in Japan, has been a standout performer in the Formula 1 circuit. His impressive skills have put him in a prime position to secure a contract extension with AlphaTauri. If this speculation comes to fruition, it would leave AlphaTauri with a tantalizing choice between the eight-time Grand Prix victor, Daniel Ricciardo, and the young Red Bull reserve driver, Liam Lawson, who has been making waves while filling in for the injured Australian.
In a recent media interaction before the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Tsunoda was probed by Sky Sports F1 about the potential teammate for the 2024 season. With his characteristic candor, Tsunoda responded:
“Daniel Ricciardo is a seasoned driver with a wealth of experience in Formula 1. If AlphaTauri aims to bolster its performance and secure more podium finishes, Ricciardo would be a logical choice. His track record and expertise could elevate the team to greater heights.”
Ricciardo, initially brought in to replace Nyck de Vries after just ten races of his rookie season, faced adversity with an unfortunate injury during the Dutch Grand Prix weekend. Despite the setbacks, his reputation in the sport remains formidable. Tsunoda continued:
“Both perspectives it’s positive. Daniel brings more experience and he showed a lot of feedback.
“He can definitely tell more details about how the car is behaving. I think the engineers like it, especially how he talks and helps the development side. If the team wants to develop the car more to be competitive, maybe Daniel.
“But, at the same time, Liam showed in the first three races immediately he showed a good performance and is probably still progressing.”
“While Liam Lawson has shown immense promise, we must consider the balance of experience and youth. Ricciardo’s arrival could provide stability and valuable insights that AlphaTauri might need to excel.”
The AlphaTauri team’s decision for the 2024 driver lineup remains shrouded in secrecy, but Yuki Tsunoda’s insights shed light on the team’s potential direction. As Formula 1 fans eagerly await the official announcement, the prospect of Daniel Ricciardo donning the AlphaTauri colors adds an intriguing layer of excitement to the future of the team.
“I’ve just done two races with Daniel and it was probably not the best time for AlphaTauri. When Liam came to F1, the car was pretty good at Monza and Singapore, so he had a good time. At the same time, he performed well.
“AlphaTauri itself, we know it’s like a junior team. At the same time, there is a bit more risk and we have to think about the results in general.
“Depends on what they are thinking. If they want more results, probably Daniel. He has more experience and can extract results maybe. But also Liam…I don’t know, it’s hard to say. It’s scary to say!”