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SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 21: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Scuderia AlphaTauri talks to the media in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on September 21, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Tsunoda ‘scared to say’ who will be in the AlphaTauri seat next season

Yuki Tsunoda has confirmed that no decsions have been made regarding next season's driver lineup

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Yuki Tsunoda has revealed that “it’s not confirmed yet” who will drive for Alpha Tauri in 2024. However, he has offered a “three-seat” solution to resolve the issue.

Liam Lawson on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit (Image Credit: Mark Thompson – Getty Images)

Tsunoda has had three different teammates in 2023, starting with Nyck de Vries, who Daniel Riccardo replaced after the British Grand Prix due to a string of poor results. After Riccardo broke a bone when he found the wall in Zandvoort, he was swapped out with Liam Lawson while the Australian recovered.

Now, with three potential drivers in Tsunoda, Ricciardo, and Lawson, who will find themselves driving for the Italian team next season?

Tsunoda’s first pick

At his home press conference, the Japanese driver was questioned about who he expects to be his teammate in 2024, but Tsunoda explained that it was a difficult decision to make as both drivers have their “positives”.

Tsunoda said: “Yeah, so we’re speaking already. It’s not confirmed yet. But I don’t know, to be honest. I think both perspectives have positives.

“Daniel brings definitely more experience. He showed a lot of feedback, [in] comparison, he definitely can tell more details about how the car is behaving. So, I think it helps a lot for the engineers. And I think engineers like it, especially how he talks and how he helped the development side.

“If the team wants to develop the car more to be competitive, maybe Daniel. But at the same time, Liam, I think he showed in the first three races that immediately he showed the good performance. And probably, he’s still progressing.”

Who is AlphaTauri’s best driver?

Lawson was able to score points last time out, finishing ninth in Singapore and narrowly missing out on a points-scoring position in Italy, where he finished 11th; Ricciardo, on the other hand, was unable to score any points in the two races on his return to the sport.

The positive results last time out put Lawson only a point behind Tsunoda in the Championship. However, Tsunoda was quick to explain how the two races during which Ricciardo was in the car weren’t the best time for AlphaTauri, so it’s not a clear reflection of the Australian’s talents behind the wheel.

“So on the performance side… Obviously, I’ve just done, with Daniel, two races, and it was not really probably the best time for AlphaTauri,” he added.

“As well, in the last two when Liam actually came into the Formula 1, the car was pretty good – Monza and Singapore – so actually, he had a good time as well.

“But at the same time, he definitely performs well. So yeah, I think AlphaTauri itself, we know it’s like a junior team. I think there is a bit more risk [in that] if we think about the results in general, it depends on what they are thinking.”

What is the Solution for Alpha Tauri?

Tsunoda admitted that Lawson has been able to outperform his best result by finishing ninth in Singapore, something he could not achieve this season.

However, he said that he was too scared to make a call on the driver lineup for next season. He also satirically suggested that they should have three seats for 2024 as the decision would be too difficult to make.

“You know, if they want more results. Probably Daniel would probably be more easier. He has more experience, especially, maybe, he can extract those results maybe, but also Liam, you know… I don’t know… It’s hard. I’m scared to say…

“I think Liam also [got] the best score, you know, he got ninth. I’ve never done ninth. So I’ll stop here. Maybe, Liam and Daniel. Three seats!”

Feature Image Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli – Getty Images

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