Yuki Tsunoda will remain at AlphaTauri for a third season in Formula 1 next year, the team has confirmed.
The Red Bull and Honda junior made his world championship debut with the team last year after an impressive rookie Formula 2 campaign in 2020 in which he finished third with three race wins and four pole positions.
His maiden F1 season started on a high by finishing ninth in the Bahrain Grand Prix on his debut, but a crash in the next event at Imola knocked his confidence and he went four races without scoring again.
He would pick up points on seven occasions through the 2021 season, ending his year with a record-matching fourth place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the best result for a rookie Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri driver.
Tsunoda’s sophomore campaign began with three points finishes in the first six grands prix, but his and the team’s form has dipped since. He currently sits 16th in the championship standings with 11 points.
“I want to say a huge thank you to Red Bull, Honda and Scuderia AlphaTauri for continuing to give me the opportunity to drive in F1,” said Tsunoda.
“Having moved to Italy last year, to be closer to the factory, I really feel part of the team and am glad that I get to carry on racing with them in 2023. Of course, our 2022 season isn’t over yet and we’re still pushing hard in the midfield battle, so I’m fully focused on finishing it on a high and then we will look forward to next year.”
The identity of Tsunoda’s team mate was not mentioned in AlphaTauri’s announcement of his 2023 deal. Pierre Gasly is contracted to the outfit for next season, but rumours suggest he may be released early to allow him to replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine.
“As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this season,” AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said.
“The pace he has shown recently is clear evidence of a steep learning curve, which proves he deserves a seat in F1, and I still expect some strong results from him in the last six races of 2022. As I always say, a driver needs at least three years to fully get to grips with F1, so I’m pleased he’s been given the time to show his full potential.”
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