AlphaTauri have confirmed Yuki Tsunoda will retain his seat for the 2023 Formula 1 season, ending speculation about his future.
Tsunoda, who joined the team at the start of last year, has shown glimpses of the talent that caught the eye of the F1 paddock when racing in junior categories but has struggled to consistently perform.
He finished 14th in the championship last season while team-mate Pierre Gasly was ninth. This year he is 16th with six races remaining, having scored points three times, and Gasly is 11th.
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“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,” said Tsunoda.
“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 principal Franz Tost still has faith in Tsunoda and is happy to give Tsunoda a third F1 campaign to see if he can improve.
“As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this season,” explained Tost.
“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 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, AlphaTauri as well as Honda, for their continuous support and for allowing him to stay with us for another year.”
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Tsunoda’s deal means there is only one possible seat up for grabs at AlphaTauri as Gasly is expected to join Alpine for 2023.
Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi are all fighting to keep their places on the grid as some new or returning drivers are set to join the field for 2023.
There are seats available at Alpine, to replace Fernando Alonso who will join Aston Martin, potentially Haas in Schumacher’s place and at Williams where Latifi’s future is uncertain.
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu is expected to keep his place at the team alongside Valtteri Bottas.
F1 2023 driver line-up confirmed
Red Bull: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Alpine: Esteban Ocon and ????
McLaren: Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas and ????
Haas: Kevin Magnussen and ????
AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda and ????
Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll
Williams: Alex Albon and ????
Gasly extends AlphaTauri contract to 2023
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