AlphaTauri retain Yuki Tsunoda for the 2023 Formula One season
AlphaTauri retain Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda for the 2023 Formula One season… despite a difficult second campaign having failed to score points in his last ten races
- AlphaTauri have announced that Yuki Tsunoda will stay on for the 2023 season
- The Japanese driver will enter his third year with the Red Bull sister team
- Tsunoda has struggled this year in an underperforming AlphaTauri car
- He is currently lined up to partner Frenchman Pierre Gasly for the team
AlphaTauri have confirmed that Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda will get a third year with the team as he has been kept on for the 2023 Formula One season.
The 22-year-old joined the Red Bull sister team at the start of 2021 and has scored 43 points in that time, with a best race finish of fourth at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Despite a tough second season, in which he has failed to score a point since May’s Spanish Grand Prix, he will get a third year with the Italian outfit.
Yuki Tsunoda has been kept on by Red Bull sister AlphaTauri for his third season in F1
Speaking of his new deal, he said: ‘I want to say a huge thank you to Red Bull, Honda and Scuderia AlphaTauri for continuing to give me the opportunity to drive in F1.
‘Having moved to Italy last year, to be closer to the factory, I really feel part of the team and am glad that I get to carry on racing with them in 2023.
‘Of course, our 2022 season isn’t over yet and we’re still pushing hard in the midfield battle, so I’m fully focused on finishing it on a high and then we will look forward to next year.’
Team boss Franz Tost added: ‘As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this season.
Tsunoda has endured a difficult second year in the sport with AlphaTauri underperforming in comparison to last season
‘The pace he has shown recently is clear evidence of a steep learning curve, which proves he deserves a seat in F1, and I still expect some strong results from him in the last six races of 2022.
‘As I always say, a driver needs at least three years to fully get to grips with Formula 1, so I’m pleased he’s been given the time to show his full potential.’
Tsunoda started the 2022 season off strongly with three points finishes inside the first six races – with a season best seventh at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Since then though he has failed to score a point, with more experienced team-mate Pierre Gasly scoring 22 points this season in comparison to Tsunoda’s 11.
The team though have struggled for pace under the new regulations and are currently eighth on 33 points – compared to last year which they scored 142 points and finished sixth.
He’s currently set to partner Pierre Gasly (left) though the Frenchman is reportedly the source of interest by Alpine who are looking to recruit a replacement for Fernando Alonso
The announcement means AlphaTauri currently has a complete line-up for 2023 after revealing back in June that Pierre Gasly would be staying in Faenza.
But with Gasly attracting interest from Alpine as a replacement for Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso, Red Bull is known to be exploring options for the second seat at AlphaTauri next year.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko met with 2019 Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries in Austria last week to discuss a possible drive for 2023 after his impressive display on his debut at the Italian GP.
They are said to have given up though on trying to sign IndyCar race winner Colton Herta as he could not obtain a superlicence.
Red Bull has made clear it will only release Gasly to Alpine if it has another driver in place to take the seat alongside Tsunoda.
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