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AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda in the paddock at the Singapore Grand Prix

Tsunoda reflects on Singapore DNF as 2024 contract decision looms

Yuki Tsunoda has failed to finish the Singapore Grand Prix during his three years in Formula One, having also crashed out in 2022

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Yuki Tsunoda reveals Singapore car damage as rumours surrounding his future heat up

Yuki Tsunoda's car damage following collision with Sergio Perez during the Singapore Grand Prix
Yuki Tsunoda’s car damage following the collision with Sergio Perez during the Singapore Grand Prix. (Image Credit: @OffTrack_FR on X)

For the second consecutive year, Yuki Tsunoda failed to reach the chequered flag at the Singapore Grand Prix. This year, contact with Sergio Perez in the opening lap saw his race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit come to a premature end.

After making his way back to the paddock, Tsunoda revealed the extent of the damage his car sustained to various media outlets. The Japanese driver said:

“I had a good start, and it is a shame how it ended up. It’s frustrating. The sidepods are completely gone after the contact. There was a loss of aero and loss of grip on the [right] hand-side [meant I had to retire].”

He continued, “At least the car pace was good [throughout practice]. I feel bad and sorry for the team because I couldn’t extract performance, but I’ll just have to bounce back strongly in Suzuka.”

The Singapore Grand Prix saw his rookie teammate score his first points in Formula One. Liam Lawson continues to cement himself as a contender for a full-time race seat, as questions surrounding AlphaTauri’s 2024 driver line-up continue to grow.

Is an AlphaTauri announcement expected in Japan?

This weekend Formula One travels to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix. Considering AlphaTauri’s relationship with Honda, and Tsunoda being the only Japanese driver on the grid, rumours surrounding a potential announcement have started to grow.

According to Auto Motor Und Sport, Tsunoda is rumoured to be announcing a contract extension with AlphaTauri at Suzuka. A translated section of the German media outlet’s article reads:

“The door at AlphaTauri is also closed. To be more precise, it was never really open. The contract extension with Yuki Tsunoda for 2024 should already be announced in Suzuka.”

Since Lawson stepped in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, the driver from New Zealand has been very impressive. In Singapore alone, Lawson knocked two-time world champion Max Verstappen out of qualifying and scored his first points in F1. While Ricciardo has only taken part in two races this season, it was believed that Lawson was more of a threat to Tsunoda than the Australian.

Recent reports are suggesting that both Ricciardo and Tsunoda will retain their seats at AlphaTauri for 2024. So what would this mean for Lawson?

Feature Image Credit: @AlphaTauriF1 on X

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