Liam Lawson, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo are all vying for a seat at Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri (Photo: Getty)
Yuki Tsunoda is reportedly set to continue with AlphaTauri in 2024 with an announcement to be made at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s sister team have made the somewhat surprising call, which leaves the Formula One futures of Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson at serious risk.
Just a month ago, Red Bull’s plan for 2024 looked simple: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez would continue with the main team, while Tsunoda and Ricciardo would drive for AlphaTauri providing the latter looked up to scratch.
The popular Aussie had returned to the grid midway through the season to replace the struggling Nyck de Vries, and has made no secret that he wants to get back to champions-elect Red Bull for 2025 when Perez’s contract is up.
The next 18 months would effectively serve as an audition for who would get that seat, but these plans were greatly complicated after Ricciardo broke his hand in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.
Rookie Lawson has replaced him for the past three races and, despite limited running in an F1 car, the 21-year-old has looked very impressive, outpacing Tsunoda and recording his team’s best result of the year at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Neither Lawson, Tsunoda or Ricciardo are contracted for next year yet, leaving RedBull with a huge dilemma as to who to drop.
AlphaTauri are bottom of the standings with just five points from 15 races (Photo: Getty)
Many have thought that the young Japan star would get the boot, given that he has looked largely unspectacular during his three seasons in the sport, with the proven veteran Ricciardo and exciting prospect Lawson better options.
However, reports from German publication Auto Motor und Sport claim that Tsunoda will retain his place with the team for 2024, and his contract extension will be confirmed ahead of his home race at Suzuka this weekend.
It is also said that Ricciardo is more likely to be signed than Lawson even with his injury set to rule him out of a fourth straight race.
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Should all this transpire, it would leave just one seat on the 2024 grid available, with Williams yet to confirm Alex Albon’s teammate.
Underwhelming rookie Logan Sargeant is at risk of getting axed, but Auto Motor und Sport also say that Mick Schumacher is not on the British team’s radar despite his previous links with the seat.
This could potentially open the door for Lawson who may choose to leave the Red Bull set up if he is once again overlooked for an F1 seat having …read more