Possible Lance Stroll replacements: No. 3 – Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri recently confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo, who returned to Formula 1 as the replacement for the struggling Nyck de Vries this summer, and Yuki Tsunoda, who has competed for the team since the 2021 Formula 1 season, are set to return to the team in 2024, regardless of what the team’s new name ends up being.
So Tsunoda moving to Aston Martin appears to be off the table. But that’s also how it looked for Pierre Gasly last year in regard to a potential move to Alpine, as he had been “confirmed” as a part of AlphaTauri’s 2023 lineup.
However, Red Bull and AlphaTauri were willing to negotiate with Alpine to allow Gasly out of his contract early, with Alpine having a seat open following Fernando Alonso’s surprise decision to bolt for Aston Martin and former Alpine Academy driver Oscar Piastri’s decision to leave the organization for McLaren.
A similar situation could happen in Tsunoda’s case as well, and it’s not hard to see the benefits for all involved.
This move would also all but ensure Liam Lawson the second AlphaTauri seat. Lawson has been impressive amid his ongoing stint as Ricciardo’s injury replacement, and despite being in consideration to potentially replace Logan Sargeant at Williams, he has reaffirmed his commitment to the Red Bull organization.
That could still pay off in 2024 with an AlphaTauri seat, and that could ultimately lead to a promotion to Red Bull as Sergio Perez’s replacement in 2025 — or maybe even at some point in 2024.