…AlphaTauri for next year as the Red Bull junior team announces its 2024 driver line up. The Formula 1 driver field for 2024 continues to fill up and AlphaTauri announced on Saturday that Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda and Australian veteran Daniel Ricciardo will join the team next year.
New Zealander Liam Lawson, who will replace the currently injured Ricciardo for the fourth time at the Japanese Grand Prix (Sunday, 7.00 CEST/Sport.de ticker), has only the role of reserve driver.
Tost: “We’re keeping our driver line-up”
“The technical regulations will be largely unchanged next year. That’s why it was logical to focus on continuity in the driver line-up,” said Team Principal Franz Tost: “I am very pleased with the development Yuki has shown in our team over the last two and a half years and with Daniel’s vast experience as a race winner, we will have one of the most competitive driver pairings on the grid in 2024.”
This means that there will be only one Formula 1 cockpit available next year. It is thought likely that Williams will extend the contract of rookie Logan Sargeant (USA). Last year’s Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich (Brazil/currently reserve driver for Aston Martin) is seen as the first alternative.
Mick Schumacher has only an outside chance of getting into the cockpit.
Ricciardo recovery taking more time
Ricciardo will also miss Suzuka after suffering a complicated hand fracture at the Zandvoort race at the end of August and his recovery will “take a while”, as race engineer Jonathan Eddolls explained on Friday.
Solange will be replaced by Lawson, who has made an immediate impact in Formula One.
Daniel Ricciardo was supposed to be back in the AlphaTauri cockpit for the Qatar Grand Prix in around two weeks’ time. But it seems the rehabilitation process is taking longer than originally thought.
Jonathan Eddolls, head of track development at AlphaTauri, revealed on the sidelines of the Japanese Grand Prix that there is no timetable for his comeback: “He’s still in recovery. It’s still a while away, so we don’t want to be too specific…”
The rehab is going “well”, but AlphaTauri doesn’t want to rush anything.
“I think there is no rush for either us or him to bring him back too soon. The worst thing would be for him to come back before (his injury) has healed properly and cause problems,” confirms Jonathan Eddolls.
MORE F1 NEWS: Red Bull push for Ricciardo
Liam Lawson would not be happy to return to F1 as a reserve driver in 2024 but he might need to wait his turn as rumours suggest Red Bull are keen to see Daniel Ricciardo back in a Formula 1 race seat as soon as possible, despite replacement rookie Liam Lawson impressing with his stand in races covering the injured Australian.
Having experienced the joys of being a Formula 1 driver, New Zealander Liam Lawson admits that he would find it very difficult…… READ MORE ON THIS STORY