Yuki Tsunoda drops hint on potential future AlphaTauri teammate

Liam Lawson has handed the team a dilemma after his impressive deputising for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.

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Yuki Tsunoda feels Daniel Ricciardo would be an easier choice to fill the second seat at AlphaTauri for 2024.

Ricciardo, who replaced the under-performing Nyck de Vries from the Hungarian GP, found himself on the sidelines after suffering a hand injury during practice for the Dutch GP, handing Liam Lawson an unexpected F1 debut.

Lawson has since impressed with a trio of impressive weekends, including a ninth-place finish in last weekend’s Singapore GP, making him an outside bet for a full-time AlphaTauri seat in 2024.

“It’s not confirmed yet, but I think from both perspectives it’s a positive,” told Tsunoda the media. “Daniel brings more experience, and he definitely can [give] more details about how the car behaves.

Liam, I think he showed in the first three races that immediately he showed a good performance, and [is] still progressing. AlphaTauri is still a junior team.

“So it depends on what they’re thinking. If they want more results, Daniel will probably be easier because he’s had more experience. Maybe he can extract those results.

“But also Liam [has the team’s] best result of ninth, I haven’t finished ninth [in 2023]. [So] maybe three seats.”

Love for Suzuka and Japan’s loyal F1 fanbase.

After the bumps and humidity of Singapore, F1 returns to Suzuka, a track beloved by drivers for its figure-of-eight layout and iconic corners such as the flat-out left-hander 130R.

Suzuka is also Tsunoda’s home race, and he will be willed on by the passionate Japanese fans known for their creativity in their race day attire. 

“Yeah, first of all, the track layout is amazing,” explained Tsunoda. “[It] is my favourite track, so I am just really looking forward to driving here…seems to be good weather this week.

“I can feel pure performance from a [F1] car in Suzuka here, especially first sector, fast chicanes, those kinds of proper aerodynamic corners dynamics are downforce quarters.

“Also for the fans as well, [F1] it’s far away, from Japan [so] to feel kind of support, it always surprises me the amount of people supporting F1.

“Even yesterday, and two days in Tokyo and did a couple of promotional [events], and I saw lots of F1 fans here, and I got a really warm welcome from them.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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