Ricciardo’s future in Formula 1 has been up in the air since the Australian was let go by McLaren at the end of last season, prompting him to return to his former team Red Bull in a non-racing role.
In a surprising turn of events, Ricciardo was catapulted back into the cockpit of an F1 car in July after AlphaTauri axed rookie driver Nyck de Vries after just 10 races.
Despite AlphaTauri being typically viewed as a pathway team for up-and-coming drivers, Ricciardo edged out Red Bull reserve driver Lawson for the interim seat.
Ricciardo went on to race in Hungary and Belgium before fracturing his hand in seven places in a crash during second practice at the Dutch Grand Prix. Lawson was named as Ricciardo’s replacement until he is fit to return following surgery.
According to German motorsports journalist Tobi Gruner, AlphaTauri has decided to stick with Ricciardo and under-pressure driver Yuki Tsunoda for their 2024 driver lineup, omitting Lawson.
The Kiwi driver made a convincing case for a full-time seat after scoring his maiden championship points in just his third race in the class at the Singapore Grand Prix on Monday morning.
Finishing ninth in Singapore, Lawson crossed the line ahead of Tsunoda for the third consecutive race and set AlphaTauri’s best result this season.
Despite these efforts, Gruner has reported that Tsunoda has re-signed with AlphaTauri, with an announcement to be made at his home Japanese Grand Prix later this week.
Confirmation of a contract extension for Ricciardo is then expected to follow.
“We expect Yuki Tsunoda to be confirmed for 2024 this week at Suzuka. Ricciardo’s announcement will follow later,” Gruner wrote on X, formally known as Twitter.
Gruner also claimed that former Haas driver Mick Schumacher will not return to the grid in 2024 with Williams.
“He’s looking for a double job – WEC (World Endurance Championship) driver at Alpine & F1 reserve at Mercedes,” he wrote.
Ricciardo’s appointment dashes any hope of the 34-year-old replacing embattled driver Sergio Perez at Red Bull.
While second behind teammate Max Verstappen in this year’s driver standings, Perez’s performance has slid since winning two of the opening four grand prix.
In July, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said Ricciardo had ambitions to become Verstappen’s teammate in 2025.
We’ve loaned him (Ricciardo) to AlphaTauri by the end of the year. Obviously, our drivers are going to be Max and Checo again next year. But it’s always good to have talent in reserve,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.
“I think Daniel is viewing AlphaTauri, he firmly wants to be pitching for that 2025 Red Bull seat. That’s his golden objective. And by going to AlphaTauri, I think he sees that as his best route of stating his case for 2025.”