Tsunoda: “I’m looking forward to working with Ricciardo”, adds “I learned from De Vries”

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Yuki Tsunoda is gearing up for major changes within the AlphaTauri team as they welcome seasoned driver Daniel Ricciardo on board for the remainder of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Tsunoda has shared his thoughts about the driver switch that has taken place at AlphaTauri and bid a fond farewell to his previous teammate, Nyck de Vries.

“I’m looking forward to working with Daniel. I can’t say I know him very well, but we had a fun day filming together earlier this year in Miami.”

Tsunoda also recognised that he could benefit from having an experienced F1 driver on the team.

“I think I’ll benefit from having a very good, experienced driver as a teammate.

“I’m sure I can learn lots of things from him and I also expect he will be able to bring something to the team and move the car development forward.”

As the young Japanese driver prepares to welcome Ricciardo, he reflected on his time spent with Nyck de Vries, who he had partnered with in the first part of the season.

“I would also like to say that I had an enjoyable time over the past ten races with Nyck.

“I learned from him, and we also had a good time away from the track.”

Tsunoda acknowledged the previous performances of his former teammate, stating, “He had plenty of experience in other categories and gave the team good feedback based on his knowledge. He had the pace and, as a friend, I enjoyed my time with him.”

With Ricciardo stepping in, Tsunoda and the team hope to gain further insight into the AT04, bolstering the team’s progress and enhancing the car’s development, to elevate their performance on track.

As the racing season progresses, fans are eager to witness the dynamic between Tsunoda and Ricciardo, alongside their respective performances in the AT04.

With the Japanese driver’s determination to improve, combined with the seasoned skills of Ricciardo, AlphaTauri’s driver switch-up may contribute to significant progress in the Constructors’ standings. The team are currently sitting 409 points behind their parent team, Red Bull Racing.

This week’s upcoming race at the Hungaroring offers a promising opportunity for the team to showcase their abilities. With Hungary’s twists, bumps, and abundance of slow-speed corners, a top-ten finish for the AlphaTauri team is a possibility.

“In Hungary, hopefully it will be better. The situation is more of a slow speed corner that we are pretty good at”

Speaking about the AT04 updates introduced at the British GP, Tsunoda noted that he doesn’t yet “know the true performance” of the car, feeling that he “didn’t feel like I drove with a full performance from the car” at Silverstone.

He was realistic about the team’s prior performances, noting that “we need a lot of improvement for the future.”