F1: AlphaTauri retains Yuki Tsunoda for 2023 season

Yuki Tsunoda
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AlphaTauri has confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda will remain with the team for the 2023 season, the Japanese driver’s third year with the Italian team.

On Thursday, AlphaTauri announced that Yuki Tsunoda will continue racing for the team in 2023. The 22-year-old has spent both of his seasons in F1 with AlphaTauri and is the team’s first confirmed driver for next season. There had been questions about Tsunoda’s future with the team as Red Bull junior drivers keep moving through the ranks of Formula 2 and Formula 3.

 

Speaking on his new deal, the Japanese driver 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 Formula 1. 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.”

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said:

“As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this 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 One, so I’m pleased he’s been given the time to show his full potential.”

Tsunoda’s Path So Far

Yuki joined AlphaTauri for the 2021 season after finishing third in Formula 2 the year before. His first season in Formula 1 saw him earn 32 points finishing 14th in the Drivers’ Championship. Tsunoda had seven finishes in the points including a career-best fourth-place at the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

This season Yuki, along with his teammate, has struggled to come to terms with the new regulations. He is currently 16th in the Driver Standings with 11 points. While Pierre Gasly is 11 points ahead of Tsunoda with 22, his future for next season is unknown. AlphaTauri and Redbull have publicly stated that they would be prepared to release Gasly to another team only if they found a good replacement.

The Current Formula 1 Grid for 2023:

Red Bull Max Verstappen Sergio Perez
Ferrari Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton George Russell
Alpine Esteban Ocon TBC
McLaren Lando Norris Oscar Piastri
Alfa Romeo Valtteri Bottas TBC
Haas Kevin Magnussen TBC
Aston Martin Fernando Alonso Lance Stroll
AlphaTauri Pierre Gasly Yuki Tsunoda
Williams Alex Albon TBC

As things stand only four seats remain unconfirmed for next season.

Featured Image Credit: Peter Fox/Getty Images