AlphaTauri have confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda will remain with the squad for the 2023 season, for what will be the Japanese driver’s third year with the Italian team.
Tsunoda joined the Faenza-based AlphaTauri at the start of the 2021 season, and has spent two years to date alongside Pierre Gasly, netting 43 points in that time (32 of which were earned last season) alongside a best race finish of fourth – claimed at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Speaking of his new deal, Tsunoda 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 of the 22 year old’s re-signing: “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 1, so I’m pleased he’s been given the time to show his full potential.
“In addition, it’s a testament to Dr. Marko [Red Bull Motorsports Adviser] and his driver programme that we’re able to bring these young talents up from the junior categories and develop them. I’d like to join Yuki in thanking Red Bull and AlphaTauri, as well as Honda, for their continuous support and for allowing him to stay with us for another year.”
The identity of Tsunoda’s team mate is less clear, meanwhile, with AlphaTauri and Red Bull having publicly stated that they would be prepared to release Gasly to another team if they found a suitable replacement – with Tost admitting that IndyCar driver Colton Herta was of interest to the team if they could overcome the barrier of the American obtaining a Super Licence.