Yuki Tsunoda hints at imminent extension to his AlphaTauri contract

Sam Cooper
Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda has been supported by Honda since 2016.

Yuki Tsunoda has hinted a new AlphaTauri deal is on the way and the course of his future will be known “soon.”

The Japanese driver is the current holder of just one of two seats left to be filled for the 2024 season.

The other is on the other side of the AlphaTauri garage with Liam Lawson and Daniel Ricciardo appearing to be competing for that slot but Tsunoda seems confident his stay is set to continue.

Yuki Tsunoda appears to confirm AlphaTauri deal is done

Asked about his future, Tsunoda suggested the world will know “soon” following reports a deal will be announced this weekend.

Tsunoda is preparing for his home race this weekend in Suzuka but heading into the race, a report emerged that an extension to his AlphaTauri deal would be announced during the grand prix weekend.

The 23-year-old has been with the team since 2021 and is just five races away from equalling Pierre Gasly’s tally of 61, a record since the rebrand to AlphaTauri.

Asked about how confident he was that he would keep his seat next year, Tusnoda said the world will “know soon.”

But three into two does not go and if rumours are to be believed and Tsunoda is secure then that leaves Lawson and Ricciardo battling it out for the final spot. Tsunoda was asked which driver he would prefer and suggested both have their merits.

“I think both perspectives have positives,” Tsunoda said. “Daniel definitely brings more experience and he showed a lot of feedback. 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. So 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.

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“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 as well.

“And 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 a junior team, I think there is a bit more risk [in that] if we think about the results in general, so it depends on what they are thinking.”

Perhaps sensing he was talking himself out of the job, Tsunoda tailed off before Alex Albon jumped in to suggest that maybe Tsunoda should lose his seat, saying with a smile “sounds like Yuki Marko!”

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