Yuki Tsunoda speaks out on AlphaTauri signing Daniel Ricciardo

Yuki Tsunoda finished ahead of Nyck de Vries in eight of the 10 races the Dutch driver completed ahead of his firing.

This weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix is going to be a busy one for AlphaTauri, after they sacked Nyck de Vries two days after the British Grand Prix.

De Vries has been replaced for the remainder of 2023 by Red Bull development driver Daniel Ricciardo, who last raced for the Faenza-based outfit in 2013.

Ricciardo will be driving De Vries’ AT04 alongside Yuki Tsunoda, who’s spoken for the first time since De Vries was fired.

Given his vast experience, Ricciardo will likely push Tsunoda more than De Vries did.

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The Japanese driver is expecting to “benefit” from having Ricciardo alongside him for the rest of the year, whilst he also believes the Aussie can help the team improve the woeful AT04.

“I’m looking forward to working with Daniel. I can’t say I know him very well, but we had a fun day filming together earlier this year in Miami,” Tsunoda explained in AlphaTauri’s Hungarian GP preview.

“I think I’ll benefit from having a very good, experienced driver as a teammate.

“I’m sure I can learn lots of things from him and I also expect he will be able to bring something to the team and move the car development forward.”

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Tsunoda also addressed De Vries’ sacking ahead of the Hungarian GP this weekend, a topic he’ll be questioned about presumably by the media at the Hungaroring.

The 23-year-old shared that he had an “enjoyable time” with his former team-mate during their 10 races together, with Tsunoda having also admitted that he did have the “pace” for F1.

“I would also like to say that I had an enjoyable time over the past ten races with Nyck,” Tsunoda added. “I learned from him, and we also had a good time away from the track.

“He had plenty of experience in other categories and gave the team good feedback based on his knowledge.

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“He had the pace and, as a friend, I enjoyed my time with him.”

Tsunoda has very much been AlphaTauri’s leader this season, with the driver having grown in maturity and stature.

In De Vries’ 10 races this season, the Dutch driver was defeated eight times by Tsunoda, highlighting the latter’s superiority during their short time together.