AlphaTauri confirms Yuki Tsunoda will stay for 2023

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Yuki Tsunoda will remain at AlphaTauri for the 2023 Formula 1 season, it was confirmed on Thursday.

After a strong end to his rookie season, finishing fourth in Abu Dhabi, the Japanese driver has had an OK sophomore year albeit blighted by the sister Red Bull team's lack of competitiveness.

As a result, Tsunoda has only scored points on three occasions, and none since Spain back in May. But it has been enough to warrant a third year at the Faenza-based outfit.

"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," he said.

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"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."

Despite the lack of strong results, the focus has instead been on progression with Tsunoda as AlphaTauri tries to calm his fiery attitude.

And on that front, team boss Franz Tost believes there has been enough improvement to stay.

"As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this season," he said.

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"The pace he has shown recently is clear evidence of a steep learning curve, which proves he deserves a seat in F1, and I still expect some strong results from him in the last six races of 2022.

"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.

"In addition, it’s a testament to Dr [Helmut] 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."

While one driver is now confirmed, intrigue remains over who Tsunoda's teammate will be in 2023 as speculation continues.

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With Pierre Gasly still expected to move to Alpine, Red Bull had been targeting Colton Herta but were unable to get the required exemption from the FIA to grant him a superlicence,

But after his impressive substitute performance at Monza, Nyck de Vries is now being strongly linked following a meeting with Marko last week.