Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo will form AlphaTauri’s race line-up for 2024, with Liam Lawson to fulfil reserve driver duties for the Italian squad and sister team Red Bull.
Tsunoda, who made his debut for the team in 2021, has impressed the team with his “undoubtful natural talent and constant improvement” and “ability to integrate into the team”.
The Japanese racer will be joined by Daniel Ricciardo, who is currently on the sidelines with a broken hand but impressed the team when he raced for them in Hungary and Belgium before the summer break.
ANALYSIS: Why AlphaTauri have opted for experience with 2024 line-up
AlphaTauri said Ricciardo’s “personal attitude and racing experience will be precious assets in 2024” – the Australian having raced for the team in 2012 and 2013 when they were known as Toro Rosso and since gone on to secure eight Grand Prix wins.
Lawson has delivered three strong Grands Prix as a super sub for Ricciardo, including his first points last time out in Singapore, but missed out on a full-time race seat with the team for 2024.
“Next year, the technical regulations remain largely unchanged and it was therefore logical to go for continuity in our driver line-up too,” said Team Principal Franz Tost.
“I am very pleased with the development that Yuki has shown over the last two and a half years with our team and with Daniel’s great race-winning experience we will have one of the most competitive driver pairings on the grid in 2024.
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“Peter [Bayer, AlphaTauri’s new CEO] and Laurent [Mekies, AlphaTauri’s incoming Team Principal] will have a great duo to start the new season in the right direction.
“As for Liam, who has impressed everyone in his races so far, he will definitely help the team in his development role as a third driver, and I’m sure he will have a future in Formula 1 soon.”
Tsunoda said: “I’m so happy to announce that I will be staying with Scuderia AlphaTauri for the 2024 Formula 1 season. 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 added: “I’m stoked to be driving with Yuki again next year and continuing the journey with Scuderia Alpha Tauri. 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!”
Ricciardo is continuing his fight to return to full fitness and while he is unlikely to return next time out in Qatar, the plan remains for him to come back at some point this season – but only when he feels ready.
READ MORE: AlphaTauri admit Ricciardo’s return still ‘a while away’ as they share recovery update
Lawson will remain in position while Ricciardo recovers and in 2024, the New Zealander – currently the youngest driver on the grid – will focus on testing, simulator sessions and attending all the races full-time in his role as reserve.
Bayer said: “We are in a privileged position, where we have access to multiple great talents from the Red Bull world. This is a credit to the work that Dr [Helmut] Marko [Red Bull Motorsport Adviser] has been doing for many years.
“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.”
There is only one seat remaining on the 2024 grid and that’s over at Williams alongside Alex Albon. Logan Sargeant is the incumbent and fighting to prove to the team that he deserves a second season.