Daniel Ricciardo has the advantage over Liam Lawson when it comes to experience, Yuki Tsunoda said on Thursday, as Formula 1 waits for AlphaTauri to announce which two of the three will race next season.
Australian Ricciardo, 34, is currently recovering from a broken hand with New Zealand’s Lawson a stand-in for four races so far.
The 21-year-old Kiwi scored his first points with ninth place in Singapore last Sunday and is back for the Japanese race at Suzuka this weekend.
Media reports have indicated the Red Bull-owned team are likely to stick with Tsunoda and Ricciardo for 2024, although some have suggested the Australian could be partnered with Lawson instead.
Tsunoda told reporters at his home Suzuka circuit that his seat was not yet confirmed but “you’ll see soon”.
He then got into something of a twist when asked who his team mate should be. The 23-year-old Honda-backed driver spoke first of Ricciardo, winner of eight races and making a comeback after a tough couple of years at McLaren.
“Daniel brings definitely more experience and he showed a lot of feedback … he definitely can tell more details about how the car is behaving so I think it helps a lot for the engineers,” he said.
“I think (technical director Jody) Egginton likes it, especially how he talks and helps with the setup of the car. So if the team wants to develop the car more, to be competitive, maybe Daniel.
“At the same time Liam, I think in his first two or three races that he immediately showed good performance and probably he’s still progressing.
“We know this is like a junior team, at the same time there’s a bit more of a risk if we think about the results in general,” he added.
“It depends on what they are thinking. If they want more results, probably Daniel has more experience so maybe he can extract those results. But also Liam … maybe Liam and Daniel, three seats,” Tsunoda joked.