Tsunoda: AlphaTauri F1 future depends on "things in the background" – Autosport

The F1 driver market for 2023 has moved quickly over the summer break following confirmation of Fernando Alonso’s shock switch to Aston Martin, Daniel Ricciardo’s exit from McLaren and Alex Albon’s extended Williams deal.
AlphaTauri is one of the few teams with a free seat for next year, but team principal Franz Tost previously indicated Tsunoda had a “good chance” for keeping his drive.
But Tsunoda hinted there were matters behind the scenes that needed to be cleared up before any final decision could be taken on his future with AlphaTauri.
“We both of course want to stay in next year, but things that are happening in the background, it depends on that,” Tsunoda said when asked by Autosport for an update on his future at Spa on Thursday.
“I still don’t know how it’s going. But from my side, I would like to stay in AlphaTauri. For me, there’s not much reason why I cannot stay here.”
Tsunoda joined AlphaTauri at the start of the 2021 season and was retained for this year despite some rookie struggles, including a spate of incidents and crashes.
While the Japanese driver has only scored points in three races so far this year, he appears to have made a step forward in performance. Tsunoda currently trails team-mate Pierre Gasly by just five points in the standings, and believes he would be ahead on points had it not been for reliability issues and bad luck.
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
Honda played a big role in supporting Tsunoda’s rise through the junior ranks prior to its F1 exit at the end of 2021, although it retains a technical partnership with both Red Bull and its sister AlphaTauri team.
Asked if there were complications on the commercial side or relating to the Honda affiliation, Tsunoda replied: “Well I cannot say anything about that.
“I know what kind of will trigger that for next year, the contract. At the moment, I cannot say much.
“For myself, the thing that I can do now is focus on myself and make the results. That’s what I can do.”
Tsunoda’s future has been overseen by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who revealed in July the team had hired a psychologist to help the 22-year-old.
Tsunoda said the impression he got from Marko was that he “wants to keep me” for next year, but felt a quick answer on his future would take away a distraction.
“Of course I would like to have an answer as soon as possible,” Tsunoda said.
“To be honest, [I’m] not having a fully comfortable life right now, because a bit of pressure, something like that.
“So yeah, if I had that information as early as possible, I feel more confidence, and I can fully focus on myself.”
How “more balanced” Ricciardo has learned to manage his F1 travails
Alonso: “Strange feeling” as Alpine F1 talks stalled for a couple of months
Steiner: “Everything is open” as Haas considers F1 2023 driver options
Verstappen to join F1 title rival Leclerc at back of Belgian GP grid
Connecting two of Ferrari’s favourite F1 sons
Gasly: “Very funny” Tsunoda taking F1 more seriously this year
Tost: Tsunoda has “good chance” of keeping AlphaTauri F1 seat
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential
Gasly: AlphaTauri has the “right tools” to recover F1 form
Lawson and Piastri lined up for F1 FP1 young driver runs
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised
Szafnauer wishes Piastri had “a bit more integrity” over F1 contract dispute
Alpine Formula 1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer says he wishes that Oscar Piastri had “a bit more integrity” after the Australian signed a contract with McLaren.
Ricciardo: Losing McLaren F1 seat to Piastri is “just business”
Daniel Ricciardo says he feels no animosity to his fellow Australians Oscar Piastri despite losing his McLaren Formula 1 seat to the former.
Steiner: “Everything is open” as Haas considers F1 2023 driver options
Gunther Steiner says “everything is open” for Haas as it looks to fill its second Formula 1 seat in 2023 after the recent twists in the driver market.
Bottas: No reason Sauber can’t win if it gains investment
Valtteri Bottas reckons there is “nothing to indicate” the Sauber team cannot win in Formula 1 again as it is poised to gain major investment from Audi for 2026.
How Formula 1’s Audi coup has been realised
Formula 1 has pulled off a major coup in encouraging Audi to join the series as an engine manufacturer from the 2026 season. It speaks to the surge in popularity F1 is enjoying, with Porsche set to follow suit. Here’s how F1 snared the four rings, and what comes next for the famous German marque as it sets about tackling its new challenge
How “more balanced” Ricciardo has learned to manage his F1 travails
A year ago Daniel Ricciardo was under fire at McLaren, but turned his season around with a spectacular win at Monza. Now, as OLEG KARPOV explains, he’s got to do it all over again just to preserve his place in Formula 1 after the shock news of his departure from McLaren…
Why Spa can reveal the most about Mercedes’ powers of resurrection
After a difficult start to Formula 1’s ground effect-era, Mercedes has shown signs of recovery in recent races by regularly finishing on the podium and even taking pole last time out in Hungary. With more time to understand its W13 car and its improvement in recent races, plus a new technical directive coming into force for Spa, the Belgian GP could be a crucial barometer of its progress
How Senna’s first F1 winner gave Lotus life after Chapman
Designed by Gérard Ducarouge, the 97T returned Lotus to the winners circle for the first time since the death of its founder but also, as STUART CODLING reveals, gave the team a problem holding onto its new star
Grading F1’s 2022 drivers at half-term
Over the first 13 races of Formula 1’s new ground effects era, Max Verstappen has surged into the lead in the world championship over Charles Leclerc. But as the 2022 season prepares to roar back into life, who stacks up as the top of the class, and who must do better? We graded every driver based on their performances so far
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season
It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here’s the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream
OPINION: The Formula 1 grid’s wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs – most notably at McLaren – look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge
While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like