AlphaTauri finally confirm both their drivers for F1 2024, with Daniel Ricciardo staying alongside Yuki Tsunoda; Liam Lawson misses out on race seat; watch the Japanese GP on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with Saturday qualifying at 7am and Sunday’s race at 6am
By Jonathan Green at Suzuka
Last Updated: 23/09/23 2:24am
Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda will continue to drive for AlphaTauri next season.
Liam Lawson, who has impressively filled in for the injured Ricciardo at the last three grands prix and remains in the car in Japan, will be reserve and simulator driver for both of Red Bull’s F1 teams and “attend all the races full time”.
AlphaTauri announced the news ahead of Sunday’s Japanese GP, Tsunoda’s home race, and means there is just one seat left up for grabs on the 2024 F1 grid, at Williams.
Tsunoda will continue at the team into a fourth season, while Ricciardo will have a full season back on the grid as he bids to achieve what he already acknowledged as his “dream” of moving back to the senior Red Bull team in 2025.
“I’m stoked to be driving with Yuki again next year and continuing the journey with Scuderia AlphaTauri,” Ricciardo said of his new deal.
“Following the progress we have already made and the plans for the future, it’s an exciting time for the team. We are building and it is a great feeling. There is a lot of work to do, but we are heading in the right direction and there is a lot to look forward to. Bring on 2024!”
Tsunoda said: “I’m looking forward to continuing to fight and collaborate with the team and Daniel. Obviously, I’ll push as much as possible for the rest of the season and beyond, to progress as a driver. I’m grateful for Red Bull and Honda, for continuing to support and believe in me, and very happy and thankful to continue the partnership.”
Ricciardo returned to AlphaTauri at the Hungarian GP after Dutchman Nyck de Vries was axed just 10 races into his rookie season.
Alpha Tauri’s chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls says Daniel Ricciardo’s recovery is going well and there’s no rush on his return.
But the Australian broke his hand during a crash in practice at the Dutch GP from which he is still recovering from and won’t return until at least the Qatar GP in two weeks’ time.
The following race after that is in the United States on October 22 and, speaking at Suzuka on Friday, AlphaTauri engineer Jonathan Eddolls said that “we are still talking a while away” in terms of when Ricciardo returns.
Red Bull junior Lawson has put in three impressive drives in Ricciardo’s absence, securing his first points in F1 with a ninth-place finish at last week’s Singapore GP – AlphaTauri’s best result of the season.
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Tsunoda currently sits 17th in the Drivers’ Championship with three points from three 10th-place finishes this season.
The Japanese driver has failed to complete a racing lap in the last two Grands Prix after pulling over to the side on the formation lap of the Italian GP and then retiring on the opening lap of the Singapore GP after contact with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
In Thursday’s press conference, Yuki Tsunoda outlined AlphaTauri’s decision in the respective qualities of Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson
AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer said: “We are in a privileged position, where we have access to multiple great talents from the Red Bull world.
“Both Daniel and Yuki have not just shown fantastic race craft but are also great global ambassadors for our team and our sport. Liam put himself in the spotlight of F1 in only three races and I am very happy that we can continue to prepare him for his future.”
AlphaTauri are bottom of the Constructors’ Championship with five points with seven rounds of the 2023 season remaining. They are five points behind ninth-placed Alfa Romeo and seven points behind eighth-placed Haas.
The team will have a new name next season and work more closely with reigning world champions Red Bull.
Laurent Mekies, formerly Ferrari’s sporting director, will become AlphaTauri’s team principal next year.
The only other opening remaining on the grid for 2024 is at Williams where it has yet to be confirmed if Logan Sargeant will continue as Alex Albon’s team-mate next year.
How the grid is set to line up in 2024
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||George Russell|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Carlos Sainz|
|Aston Martin||Fernando Alonso||Lance Stroll|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Oscar Piastri|
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon||Pierre Gasly|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen||Nico Hulkenberg|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Zhou Guanyu|
|AlphaTauri||Yuki Tsunoda||Daniel Ricciardo|
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