Sky F1 broadcaster Karun Chandhok has revealed his deal line-up for the AlphaTauri squad, and Yuki Tsunoda probably won’t like reading it…
Rumours continue to swirl about the possibility of a shock announcement being made about AlphaTauri’s driver line-up for next season, with the Red Bull sister team having a tumultuous time with drivers.
Having started the season with Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda, the Japanese driver was seemingly nailed on for a seat for next season as he trounced the Dutch driver, but further changes since then have introduced the element of doubt.
Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson enter the fray
With De Vries replaced by Daniel Ricciardo as Red Bull brought back their former veteran racer for a chance to evaluate his form, the Australian driver impressed in the two races he had prior to the summer break.
But as he picked up a hand injury in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, Ricciardo has sat out three races since – giving Red Bull junior Liam Lawson the chance to arrive and impress. The Kiwi scored his first points last weekend in Singapore and has looked a match in terms of pace for Tsunoda, although the Japanese driver hasn’t completed a single lap of racing in Italy or Singapore due to incidents and technical issues.
With Lawson impressing mightily in his short time on the grid, Sky F1 pundit Karun Chandhok says he’d like to see Lawson paired with Ricciardo for next season – this would then correspond with AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer’s wishes to have an experienced driver paired with a young talent.
“I think Liam Lawson deserves a seat in Formula 1, he’s done a great job so far,” Chandhok said in his blog for OLBG.
“I would have liked to see a Ricciardo and Lawson lineup at AlphaTauri, I think that would have been a very strong driver lineup.
“Liam has done a really good job and deserves a full-time seat. Maybe like Oscar Piastri and Esteban Ocon, he might have to wait another year sitting on the sidelines before it comes to him, but I’d like to see him get a chance because he’s got the talent for it. Red Bull will want to keep him as an asset after seeing what he’s done so far.”
Will Karun Chandhok get his wish of Liam Lawson signing for AlphaTauri?
Ricciardo, Lawson, Tsunoda – one of these drivers is going to be left out in the cold from a racing seat with AlphaTauri next season, and the indications right now are that it will still be Lawson who is left on the sidelines. An announcement confirming Tsunoda is expected to be made this weekend, given that it’s his home race, with a Ricciardo announcement to follow in the near-future.
Lawson has indicated that he wants nothing less than a race seat for 2024, having ‘fallen in love’ with F1, but the chances of finding a way in full-time with Red Bull support appear slim at this moment as they intend to keep the faith with Tsunoda and Ricciardo.
However, Lawson’s name has been linked with Williams. While Alex Albon enjoyed the support of Red Bull to find a seat with the Grove-based team coming into 2022, Lawson’s status with Red Bull may mean they are far more reluctant to let him race for a rival outfit.
The next piece in the puzzle may be confirmed this weekend, with Tsunoda revealing that the world will know his situation “soon” as he spoke to the media in the press conference on Thursday.