Ricciardo locked in for full 2024 F1 assault

It’s confirmed. Daniel Ricciardo has cemented his spot on the Formula 1 grid in 2024 with AlphaTauri.

Red Bull’s sister team confirmed the news on Saturday ahead of qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, where it was also announced Yuki Tsunoda will continue with the outfit.

Liam Lawson, who has raced in Ricciardo’s place after breaking his hand, will return to the team in his reserve driver role.

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It will be the Aussie’s second full season with the team, the first since 2013.

“I’m stoked to be driving with Yuki again next year and continuing the journey with Scuderia AlphaTauri,” said Ricciardo.

“Following the progress we have already made and the plans for the future, it’s an exciting time for the Team. We are building and it is a great feeling.

“There is a lot of work to do, but we are heading in the right direction and there is a lot to look forward to. Bring on 2024.”

The team has all but confirmed Lawson will sit on the sidelines in 2024.

In a statement, the team said Lawson would be “focusing on testing, simulator sessions and development work, attending all the races full time.”

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said stability in the regulations was behind the team’s decision to stick with the same line-up.

“Next year, the technical regulations remain largely unchanged and it was therefore logical to go for continuity in our driver line-up too,” Tost explained.

“I am very pleased with the development that Yuki has shown over the last two and a half years with our team and with Daniel’s great race-winning experience we will have one of the most competitive driver pairings on the grid in 2024. 

“Peter (Bayer, team CEO) and Laurent (Mekies, incoming team principal) will have a great duo to start the new season in the right direction. 

“As for Liam, who has impressed everyone in his races so far, he will definitely help the team in his development role as a third driver, and I’m sure he will have a future in Formula 1 soon.”

After a half-season with HRT in 2011, Ricciardo joined the then-known Scuderia Toro Rosso team (now AlphaTauri) in 2012 and raced on with them in 2013 before graduating to Red Bull in 2014. 

He stayed with Red Bull until 2018 at which point he moved to Renault. A two-year stint followed, which was ultimately unsuccessful. 

In 2021, he joined McLaren alongside Lando Norris. The tenure was ultimately short-lived and after 2022 it was decided Ricciardo would not continue with the team.

A lifeline came at the end of that season when Red Bull signed Ricciardo as one of its reserve drivers.

Midway through 2023, Nyck de Vries was let go by Red Bull and Ricciardo was slotted into AlphaTauri ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo has been out of the seat since a practice crash at the Dutch Grand Prix broke his hand in seven places.

The Japanese Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday at 3pm.

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