Recently, AlphaTauri revealed the news that they are going to take Yuki Tsunoda onboard for the upcoming Formula 1 2023 season, amidst speculations of the Japanese racer’s exit from the team as his contract was going to end in 2022. The 22-year-old had made his debut with Red Bull’s sister team last year, and has maintained a quite mediocre record in terms of his F1 statistics. While he did achieve some race finishes as high as P4 in Abu Dhabi in 2021, his consistency has been questioned by many.
In the current F1 season, AlphaTauri’s car has not been one of their best creations at all, and hence, both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda have struggled to score points for the team. And a few months back, AlphaTauri Chief Franz Tost even talked about Yuki’s future in F1, saying that it has not been finalized yet if they will be continuing with him next year or if they will look at some other options in the Red Bull Academy.
Then, fans noticed Red Bull, the principal team that mostly manages AlphaTauri’s recruitments, flirting with the idea of welcoming IndyCar racer Colton Herta into F1 as a recruit for their sister team. But that plan fell through due to issues with Herta’s superlicence. And now, fans are thinking of reasons why AlphaTauri renewed their contract with Tsunoda.
Decent racing, great sponsors and ethnicity–the three elements that might have led to Yuki Tsunoda’s new contract with AlphaTauri
While there are still a lot of questions being asked about why AlphaTauri settled for Yuki Tsunoda, a racer who has not managed to get a single podium in his two-year-long F1 career, instead of looking for fresh talent from the pool of F2 drivers waiting on a call to join F1. But here are some of the most plausible reasons we could think of that prove that the decision to retain Yuki Tsunoda was a logical one–
1. Yuki has a satisfactory record when it comes to race results
One might argue that Tsunoda has got only 11 points this year, and is one of the few drivers with the most disappointing performances. But the glaring fact that must be accepted is that the AlphaTauri car this year is quite poor when it comes to performance and that has been reflected in Pierre Gasly‘s performance too. Even with that, Tsunoda has managed to stay above drivers like Alex Albon and Lance Stroll who are more experienced than him.
2. Honda sponsorship is one of the strongest points that led to Yuki Tsunoda being retained
Yuki Tsunoda has Honda’s backing–and this is a hugely important reason that must have contributed to his hiring. The Japanese racer joined Honda’s Formula Dream Project in 2016, and it has helped him immensely as he holds a record of not spending more than a year in any junior category as he sailed from F4 in 2018 to reach F1 in 2021 within a span of only 3 years.
3. As a Japanese racer, Yuki has got massive support
While this point might come off as a bit controversial to some, it must be considered that being the only Japanese racer to have debuted in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi in 2009, Yuki Tsunoda has the massive support from his countrymen. And it is no news that F1 is all about being more inclusive and open to racers from all parts of the world, so it is a prudent decision that Yuki Tsunoda gets to race in the Championship as the Japanese GP will be returning in a few weeks’ time after a break of two years.