Tsunoda ‘more or less’ confirmed for 2024

Sat, 2 September 2023, 09:00

Sep.2 (GMM) Almost every race cockpit in Formula 1 has already been filled for 2024.

Mercedes reserve Mick Schumacher, linked with struggling rookie Logan Sargeant’s Williams seat, admitted to Sky Deutschland at Monza that “not much is happening at the moment” in terms of ‘silly season’ movement.

Mercedes has just locked in its current drivers for 2024, as has Aston Martin.

Guanyu Zhou is reportedly having trouble with his Chinese backers at present, as Sauber – currently known as Alfa Romeo – decides how to handle the next steps in its 2026 transition to works Audi status.

Valtteri Bottas, already under contract for next year, thinks Zhou should stay.

“I think he’s made progress from last year,” said the Finn.

“He’s made a big step in performance but also confidence and technical knowledge and I think he really deserves a place in Formula 1. And he’s a nice guy as well.

“Really good guy to work with.”

Red Bull’s second team Alpha Tauri is holding a 2024 seat open for Daniel Ricciardo, but his broken hand at Zandvoort has complicated the matter as rookie substitute Liam Lawson is already impressing.

“The baptism of fire is over,” Dr Helmut Marko told Kleine Zeitung newspaper. “Now he’s spent time in the simulator and that should help him.

“He has proven impressively that he is suitable for Formula 1,” Marko added when asked about New Zealander Lawson, 21. “Now he has to confirm that in these next races.”

Marko said Australian Ricciardo, 33, is in “good spirits” as he recovers from having some metalwork installed into his damaged hand, even though he will be out for some weeks.

“Singapore will also be difficult because it’s so physically demanding,” the Austrian added, admitting that Suzuka a week later would also be a tough venue for Ricciardo’s return.

As for the other Alpha Tauri cockpit, Yuki Tsunoda looks set to be given a fourth consecutive season.

“I definitely see Yuki in the team next year,” said departing team boss Franz Tost. “That’s more or less already fixed.”

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