AlphaTauri has announced Yuki Tsuonda will remain at the team for a third consecutive year in the Formula 1 2023 season.
Tsuonda made his F1 debut last year after a stellar rise through the junior categories, scoring points on his first outing in Bahrain.
While his rookie campaign lacked consistency, he ended the year with a career-best finish at the final race in Abu Dhabi, finishing in fourth place.
Three further points finishes in 2022 leave the Japanese driver 16th in the drivers’ championship with six rounds remaining, and, with his future secure, Tsunoda is eyeing a strong finish to the season.
“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,” Tsuonda said.
“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.”
Tsuonda moved to live near AlphaTauri’s base in Faenza midway through his rookie season, in a bid to aid his development.
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost acknowledged Tsunoda’s improvements on and off-track since last year, and felt a third year at the team was crucial to helping him extract his potential.
“As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this season,” said Tost.
“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.”
The identity of Tsuonda’s team-mate for 2023 is yet to be fully resolved, despite Pierre Gasly being confirmed as an AlphaTauri driver for next year back in June.
Gasly is close to orchestrating a move away from the Red Bull fold to join Alpine, but, intriguingly, was not mentioned in the press release confirming Tsuonda would be staying put.