AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says confirming his drivers for 2022 at this stage of the season will prevent distractions in the closing races of the year.
Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda will remain with AlphaTauri next season, providing stability for the team as it heads into the new regulations. While Gasly’s seat was never in doubt, Tsunoda’s inconsistent rookie year could have prompted Red Bull to delay confirming his seat. But Tost believes that having both of its drivers futures finalized with nine races of the season gives both Tsunoda and AlphaTauri a better chance of success this year.
“Pierre’s development in the years has been impressive and in his time with us he managed to make it to all three steps of the podium,” Tost said. “Starting with the second place in Brazil in 2019, he then won our home Grand Prix the following year in Monza and this year he has already achieved a podium with a 3rd place in Baku.
“I am confident there’s more to come, and this is why we are excited to have him with us for another season. Furthermore, he is using his experience in F1 to help Yuki with his development. This year we have seen that the positive relationship between the two, made of a competitiveness on-track and a friendship off-track, has proven effective for the team.
“Yuki has joined the team as a rookie and is continuing to learn every day. The feedback from the engineers shows that he is absorbing all the information given to him and improving. As a rookie, Yuki is only at the beginning of this journey, so it’s good that he can continue what we’ve started together.
“It’s great for us to be securing our driver line-up so early in the season, so we can now focus on the rest of 2021, where we’re in a tough fight in the midfield pack.”
Confirmation of AlphaTauri’s line-up comes on the same day George Russell was announced as a Mercedes driver following Valtteri Bottas’ switch to Alfa Romeo. That leaves two seats at Williams and one at Alfa Romeo to be finalized, while the line-ups at Aston Martin and Haas are still yet to be officially confirmed but are expected to remain as they are this season.