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Tsunoda, 22, made his F1 debut with AlphaTauri in 2021, and was widely expected to be retained by the team for a third season heading into next year.

The Japanese driver said at the end of last month that his future was dependent on “things in the background”, but any doubt over his seat with AlphaTauri was removed on Thursday when the team confirmed he would be staying put for 2023.

“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 in a statement.

“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.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Tsunoda has failed to score any points since the Spanish Grand Prix back in May as AlphaTauri finds itself struggling to compete with the leading midfield teams on a regular basis.

Team principal Franz Tost felt Tsunoda’s recent displays were “clear evidence of a steep learning curve, which proves he deserves a seat in F1”, and that a third season would be key to his development.

“As I always say, a driver needs at least three years to fully get to grips with Formula 1, so I’m pleased he’s been given the time to show his full potential,” said Tost.

“In addition, it’s a testament to Dr. Marko and his driver programme that we’re able to bring these young talents up from the junior categories and develop them.

“I’d like to join Yuki in thanking Red Bull and AlphaTauri, as well as Honda, for their continuous support and for allowing him to stay with us for another year.”

The announcement means AlphaTauri currently has a complete line-up for 2023 after revealing back in June that Pierre Gasly would be staying in Faenza.

But with Gasly attracting interest from Alpine as a replacement for Fernando Alonso, Red Bull is known to be exploring options for the second seat at AlphaTauri next year.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko met with 2019 Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries in Austria last week to discuss a possible drive for 2023, having given up on trying to sign IndyCar race winner Colton Herta as he could not obtain a superlicence.

Red Bull has made clear it will only release Gasly to Alpine if it has another driver in place to take the seat alongside Tsunoda.



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