In the face of recent buzz, Yuki Tsunoda is gearing up to hold onto his Alpha Tauri seat for 2024.
Franz Tost, the departing team leader, had noted just a week before that the Japanese pilot’s next season contract is “more or less fixed”.
Yet, after Liam Lawson stepped up impressively for the sidelined Daniel Ricciardo, whispers emerged suggesting Tsunoda might be moved to the Red Bull reserve role for 2024.
“Liam has done what he needed to do and we’ll see now who will be in the car next year in the next few days,” new Alpha Tauri CEO Peter Bayer told Servus TV in Singapore.
However, Auto Motor und Sport suggests the formal announcement of Tsunoda’s 2024 position “should be announced at Suzuka”.
Concerning his 2024 teammate, the German publication mentioned: “Despite Liam Lawson’s noteworthy showings, Daniel Ricciardo is tipped to occupy the other seat.”
The plans for young Lawson, 21, are still in the shadows for now.
“The performance he has shown is a clear exclamation mark,” former F1 driver Timo Glock told Sky Deutschland. “We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds – it’s in Red Bull’s hands.”
Red Bull is evidently hesitant about letting Lawson drift from its training scheme, making a transition to Williams – to substitute newcomer Logan Sargeant – seem improbable.
Conversely, Williams seems inclined to back Sargeant, even after another significant error in Singapore.
“It’s notable that he keeps making mistakes like that,” Glock said. “But as long as Williams is behind him, and they appear to be at the moment, he won’t lose that cockpit.
“He probably brings certain financial backers with him, so Williams has to pay attention to that aspect as well.”
Felipe Drugovich, presently a backup at Aston Martin, is eager for his Formula 1 debut in 2024, but Auto Motor und Sport claims his aspirations exceed his budget at present.
“If last year’s Formula 2 champion wants to join Williams, he will have to raise a few more sponsor millions,” said correspondent Tobias Gruner.