Tsunoda in dark over Alpha Tauri name change
"It probably should have been strengthened three years ago"
Yuki Tsunoda says he’s in the dark about Alpha Tauri’s impending name change for 2024.
Team owner Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko revealed this week that Alpha Tauri will form a closer alliance with the premier team from next year - including new sponsors and a new name.
"The results of the last two years are not at all what we wanted to see," said team driver Yuki Tsunoda, who has impressed this year in contrast to his struggling teammate Nyck de Vries.
"This is probably why Helmut thinks we need to change," the Japanese added. "I think last year he gave us another chance but we didn’t improve."
Tsunoda now thinks "increased cooperation" between Red Bull and Alpha Tauri will help the situation.
"It probably should have been strengthened three years ago," he added.
As for the new name, however, it appears that even Red Bull is yet to decide what it will be.
"I don’t know either," Tsunoda smiled. "I only saw it in the news but I don’t think it will affect me."
On Thursday at the Red Bull Ring, two drivers - de Vries and also fellow rookie Oscar Piastri - agreed that Tsunoda was one of the three most impressive drivers in F1 this year.
It is expected that Tsunoda will be retained by Alpha Tauri for 2024.
"In Formula 1, you can never be sure of anything, so I will not relax completely," the 23-year-old said. "But compared to last year, I am in a much better position.
"It’s also a different mindset," Tsunoda added. "I have a clear idea of what I need to do and my role within the team now that Nyck is new to Formula 1.
"I enjoy the situation and I notice that the team is counting on me more than last year, so I’m happy with that. The added responsibility makes me better.
"I often speak to Helmut Marko, and so far he is very happy with my performance, so I am happy with that too."
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