In preparation for the 2024 season, the AlphaTauri team has locked in the return of Yuki Tsunoda for a fourth season and Daniel Ricciardo for a full season. Ricciardo had made a mid-season comeback following his recovery from an injury. The decision regarding the dynamic duo was complicated due to the impressive performances by reserve driver Lawson as Ricciardo’s stand-in.
Ricciardo, while recovering from a hand injury formerly sustained at Zandvoort, missed the Qatar Grand Prix. On the other hand, Lawson, being a 21-year-old Super Formula contender, thrived in his role, finishing in the top 10 in just his third race in Singapore and followed that up by scoring his first points.
Red Bull, after evaluating performances, decided that Tsunoda and Ricciardo were the best fit for AlphaTauri‘s 2024 lineup. Lawson, the New Zealand native, was reassigned back to his reserve driver duties for both teams.
In expressing his thoughts on this decision, Tsunoda said, “I’m looking forward to continuing to fight and collaborate with the team and Daniel. 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 also voiced his excitement by stating, “I’m stoked to be driving with Yuki again next year and continuing the journey with AlphaTauri. 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.”
Franz Tost, the outgoing principal of the team, commended Tsunoda’s continual progress with the Italian squad and expressed his belief that Lawson will feature in Formula 1 very soon. Tost explained the team’s decision stating, “Next year, the technical regulations remain largely unchanged, and it was therefore logical to go for continuity in our driver line-up too.”
On the other side of the camp, Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, acknowledged the quality of Tsunoda, Ricciardo, and Lawson calling it a “nice headache” for AlphaTauri. Hinting at a 2024 rebrand, he commented, “We’ve got a luxury problem where we’ve got three into two in that team. Lawson will certainly be a grand prix driver in the near future, showcasing his potential as a talent for the future.”