Insiders at F1 Initiative reveal that Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda will remain partners on the AlphaTauri team in 2024. This news leaves the immediate future of striking rookie Liam Lawson in a cloud of uncertainty.
Red Bull, big players behind the scenes, were torn between three candidates for two spots. However, it seems they have finally made a decision for the forthcoming season.
This choice ensures the continuation of the F1 saga for Ricciardo, a grand prix champion eight times over, who earlier replaced Nyck de Vries at the Hungarian Grand Prix, for at least an additional season. Conversely, Ricciardo views this as the best avenue back to Red Bull in 2025, coinciding with the end of Sergio Perez‘s contract.
The revelation, expected to become public before Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, means that Tsunoda will stay on with AlphaTauri for his fourth season, but leaves plenty of room for conjecture over the future trajectory of Lawson.
AlphaTauri, set to operate under a fresh banner in 2024 and with a closer integration with Red Bull, might have chosen quite the experienced duo for their valid reasons. The team’s selection for next year’s trackside competition has been highly speculated over the recent weeks, an intricate decision spurred by the outstanding showcases of Lawson in Ricciardo’s shoes for the last trio of races.
Lawson stepped in to replace Ricciardo when the Australian ace broke his hand prior to the Dutch Grand Prix. From Zandvoort to Monza, Lawson’s deft moves on the track led to him earning the best points of his F1 career by finishing ninth at the Singapore Grand Prix.
As Ricciardo eagerly awaits his comeback for the Qatar Grand Prix on October 8, Lawson is set to blaze the Japanese Grand Prix track. Meanwhile, the remaining F1 seat for 2024 at Williams is up for grabs, with insiders suggesting a potential shake-up in the wake of rookie Logan Sargeant‘s less-than-spectacular performance.
Before his stride into F1, Lawson had the backup driver role for Red Bull, a position that could potentially be his in 2024. While talking to media in Suzuka, Lawson expressed, “I wouldn’t be happy to go back to being reserve but obviously I know how hard it is to get to Formula One.”
He continued, “And I understand that can be really, really difficult sometimes. So what will happen will happen, but these things I haven’t really thought about too much. I’ve just tried to make the most of this [opportunity].” The young driver’s future in F1 remains an exciting plot to unfold.