Franz Tost has revealed that the contract extension for Yuki Tsunoda will be announced soon, putting to rest the doubts that had everyone on edge.
Following Daniel Ricciardo's accident at the Dutch Grand Prix, AlphaTauri called in reserve driver Liam Lawson to replace the Australian while he recovers.
The New Zealander is performing at a high level, and in Singapore, he secured his first points in the category amid a lacklustre season for AlphaTauri, opening a Pandora's box within the Italian team about who will drive in 2024.
As a result, AlphaTauri has three exceptional drivers ready for 2024 but only two seats, raising questions about who will be the official drivers for the upcoming season. The current team principal, Franz Tost, has spoken about this matter.
"I think there will be a decision made by Red Bull soon so the drivers know what to do and in which direction it will go [for them]. We'll see," said Tost to Sky Sports Germany during FP1 of the Japanese Grand Prix.
A couple of weeks ago, Tost mentioned that Tsunoda was close to signing his contract, and although it hasn't been officially announced yet, he believes it will happen soon.
"It doesn't stall too much," said Tost. "We can’t forget that we've been on the road this whole time now. I think that soon it will be ready to be announced. It's basically a three-way battle, there are three drivers fighting for two cockpits and that's a good thing. Red Bull is in a really good position here."
It seems that AlphaTauri will have Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo as their official drivers for 2024, leaving Lawson out. With seven rounds remaining in the season, there is only one team apart from AlphaTauri that has not yet announced one of its seats for 2024: Williams.
The British team has not yet announced whether they will retain Logan Sargeant for the next season, creating uncertainty about who could fill that seat. Many consider Lawson a strong candidate for that seat, and he could potentially part ways with Red Bull to join Williams or drive on loan, similar to what Sainz did with Renault when he was at Toro Rosso.
Should it not be the case that he drives full-time in Formula 1 in 2024, Lawson would continue his role as reserve driver at AlphaTauri, as well as other roles that Red Bull's structure might assign to him, hoping to make the jump in 2025.
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