Tsunoda says chances of 2022 seat are 50/50

Michelle Foster
Yuki Tsunoda sitting on the track. Britain July 2021

Yuki Tsunoda sitting on the track with his helmet ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Britain July 2021

AlphaTauri rookie Yuki Tsunoda says it is “50/50” as to whether he remains with the team next season.

Reports, though, suggest it is a done deal and will be announced at the Italian GP.

Tsunoda joined the Formula 1 circus this season, racing for Red Bull’s junior team.

In the points in his debut race he was billed as a future World Champion by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, while Ross Brawn declared he was probably the “best” rookie F1 had seen.

However, 12 races into his career and the shine has dulled a tad with Tsunoda having one too many crashes for Marko’s likening, leading to the Austrian telling his driver to use his head for more than just his helmet.

Marko and AlphaTauri, though, have implied on several occasions that Tsunoda will be staying put for the 2022 season.

That has yet to be officially confirmed with the Japanese driver saying he doesn’t yet know if it will happen.

“50-50,” he told Reuters ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix when asked if he was confident of staying on.

“It was really up and down, it was not a very consistent season. I think I need to have more consistency.”

Check out all the latest AlphaTauri merchandise via the official Formula 1 store

Asked about AlphaTauri’s line up last month, team boss Franz Tost told Motorsport-Total.com: “I hope we will continue to race with Pierre and Yuki next year. I don’t see any other driver there.

“I don’t see any alternatives either.

“Pierre does a fantastic job and Yuki is a newcomer and does a good job. He just has to get the experience and learn a lot.

“But that’s nothing special. It makes sense with a young driver.”

Tsunoda has scored 18 points so far this season with Gasly on 54.

Various reports claim the team will confirm Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.