Yuki Tsunoda opens up on pros of Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson

Liam Lawson has filled in for Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri since the Australian suffered an injury in the Netherlands.

Yuki Tsunoda is undecided as to who he’d rather have as a team-mate at AlphaTauri next season; Daniel Ricciardo or Liam Lawson.

After initial reports stated that Tsunoda is set to be Red Bull’s reserve driver in 2024, he’s now reportedly set to be confirmed as an AlphaTauri driver once again.

An announcement regarding another new deal for Tsunoda could be made this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix, where he’s celebrating his home race.

Whilst his recent performances haven’t been brilliant, the young driver has improved considerably in 2023, seemingly enough to convince Red Bull to give him a seat at AlphaTauri for a fourth season.

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Should the latest reports be true, then it leaves just one seat at the Faenza-based outfit.

That seat is between Ricciardo and Lawson, although it’s the 34-year-old who’s tipped to take it.

Ricciardo has done well since returning from his sabbatical; however, Lawson’s performance since standing in for the injured Australian have been nothing short of exceptional.

Lawson remarkably made his first Q3 appearance last weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix before finishing the race in ninth, on just his third F1 start.

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It’s clear that the Kiwi is a real star of the future, with Tsunoda seeing the benefits of having either driver alongside him.

Tsunoda was quick to note ahead of this weekend that his new deal isn’t actually confirmed yet, before admitting that AlphaTauri need to choose between Ricciardo’s vast experience or Lawson’s potential for 2024.

“It’s not confirmed,” Tsunoda said of his own future in the pre-weekend drivers’ press conference.

“I don’t know, to be honest I think both perspectives are a positive,” Tsunoda continued.

“Daniel is definitely more experienced and he showed a lot of feedback. Comparison is really good. He definitely can tell more details about how the car is behaving so I think it helps a lot for the engineers.

“And I think he likes it, especially how he talks and how he helps the development side. So if the team wants to develop the car more to be competitive, maybe Daniel.

“But on Liam, I think he showed in his first two or three races that he immediately has performance and probably he’s still progressing.

“So on the performance side, obviously I’ve just done two races with Daniel and it was not really probably the best time for AlphaTauri as well.

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“But in the last two races, when Liam actually came into Formula One, the car was pretty good in Monza and Singapore. So actually, he had a good time as well but at the same time he definitely performed well.

“So I think for AlphaTauri itself, we know this is a junior team, but at the same time there’s a bit more of a risk if we think about the results in general.”

He added: “It depends on what they are thinking you know. If they want results probably for Daniel it will easier, he has more experience and maybe can extract those results. But also Liam.”