Wednesday, April 17, 2024

AlphaTauri Retain Tsunoda and Ricciardo for 2024

Scuderia AlphaTauri have confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo will continue racing for the Italian side for the 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

Tsunoda joined the team in 2021, and has improved since joining Oracle Red Bull Racing’s sister team. Following the departure of Pierre Gasly, the Japanese driver was challenged to step up to become the team leader and showed his pace by comfortably beat his first team mate former Formula E and Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries with the Dutchman failing to score a point and losing his seat before the summer break.

AlphaTauri had scored three points before the break and they all came from Tsunoda, who secured them across three Grand Prix, and missed out on adding to that tally with three eleventh place finishes. This earned Tsunoda many plaudits considering the AlphaTauri was the slowest car on the grid in most races. Even when Ricciardo stepped in to replace De Vries for the final two races before the summer break, Tsunoda didn’t struggle against the eight-time race winner, although we didn’t see the best of the Australian.

AlphaTauri have opted to stick with Ricciardo for the 2024 season, despite the impressive performances of Liam Lawson – who stepped in for the Australian after a hand injury at the Dutch Grand Prix. Ricciardo’s return didn’t see him score any points, but he put in two solid showings at the Hungarian Grand Prix and the Belgium Grand Prix, especially in tough conditions at the latter event in the sprint race.

Ricciardo lost his seat at McLaren F1 Team after a disappointing two years alongside Lando Norris but he’s still got plenty to offer with vast experience and eight Grand Prix victories to his name. The former Renault driver will be crucial in helping AlphaTauri develop the car and move up the grid going into and throughout 2024.

Franz Tost, AlphaTauri Team Principal was pleased with the decision to retain both drivers for 2024, “Next year, the technical regulations remain largely unchanged, and it was therefore logical to go for continuity in our driver line-up too.

“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.

“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 One soon.” 

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