Formula 1: Another seat confirmed in 2023 driver lineup

Yuki Tsunoda is officially set to remain with AlphaTauri for the 2023 Formula 1 season, leaving just five seats without confirmed drivers.

Yuki Tsunoda is officially set to return for a third Formula 1 season with AlphaTauri in 2023, the team confirmed on Thursday morning.

The 22-year-old Japanese driver is the 16th driver to be confirmed as part of the 2023 driver lineup, and he is the 15th driver whose seat is solidified.

While AlphaTauri have struggled in 2022 compared to 2021, Tsunoda has been much closer to teammate Pierre Gasly in terms of points, average starting position, and average finish throughout the year than he was throughout his rookie season a year ago.

Gasly had already been confirmed by AlphaTauri for 2023, though the possibility remains that he could end up in the second Alpine seat alongside Esteban Ocon following the departure of Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin — and Oscar Piastri to McLaren.

While the team had initially stated that they would only allow Gasly to leave the team if they could land IndyCar driver Colton Herta through an FIA Super License exemption, they have admitted that he could still be signed by the Enstone outfit if they can land another suitable replacement.

Nyck de Vries has recently emerged as a possibility, following his impressive Formula 1 debut with Williams in Monza as the late replacement for Alex Albon, but don’t rule him out for the Alpine seat either.

Aside from Gasly’s AlphaTauri seat and the vacant Alpine seat, three seats remain without confirmed drivers for 2023: Guanyu Zhou’s Alfa Romeo seat, Mick Schumacher’s Haas seat, and Nicholas Latifi’s Williams seat.

All remain in contention to retain their rides for next year, but there are questions surrounding the futures of each. Sauber Academy and Formula 2 driver Theo Pourchaire is reportedly in contention for Zhou’s seat, while Haas appear to be considering multiple drivers, including Daniel Ricciardo, Antonio Giovinazzi, and Nico Hulkenberg, as potential replacements for Schumacher.

Schumacher himself is in the mix to potentially replace Latifi, as are Ricciardo and de Vries, but Williams Driver Academy and Formula 2 driver Logan Sargeant has recently emerged as the favorite.