Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

Tsunoda surprised how quick AlphaTauri have been in recent races

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: AlphaTauri’s pursuit of Williams for seventh in the constructors’ standings has got Yuki Tsunoda excited for this weekend.

In brief

Tsunoda enthused by AlphTauri’s late-season momentum

AlphaTauri were 18 points behind Williams and bottom of the Formula 1 constructors’ standings after the Qatar Grand Prix, but three rounds later are now seven points behind and have a serious chance to take seventh place from them in the remaining two races of 2023.

“The last three races have been really good, scoring points at each of them, so the team has momentum right now,” said Tsunoda. “It’s very positive to see how much we have closed the gap to Williams. A lot of that comes from the upgrades we brought to Austin, which gave us extra confidence and pace.

“To be honest, I hadn’t expected this level of performance like we saw in Brazil, and now we need to take that positive feeling into the next two races to fight aggressively and get enough points to hopefully make it to P7 in the constructors’ championship for the end of the year.”

However he admitted this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix could be difficult for the team “as we tended to struggle at circuits that have long straights.”

Details of Motorsport Games-IndyCar split revealed

New documents have shed light on the reason for IndyCar’s termination of its deal with Motorsport Games to develop a video game based on the series, which was disclosed by the publisher last week.

“On November 8, 2023, IndyCar, LLC (“IndyCar LLC”) delivered a notice to Motorsport Games Inc. (the “Company”) to terminate the two license agreements, each dated July 13, 2021, by and between IndyCar LLC and the Company (collectively, the “IndyCar License Agreements”), effective immediately,” a court document confirmed.

“IndyCar LLC stated that its decision to terminate the IndyCar License Agreements was due to the Company’s alleged failure to satisfy certain of its obligations under the IndyCar License Agreements, including making IndyCar racing series video gaming products available in the United States and facilitating a minimum number of IndyCar racing series esports events.”

Motorsport Games has also recently lost the licences to produce a game based on the British Touring Car Championship, which had been in development for three-and-a-half years, and NASCAR.

Button and Ericsson join Andretti

Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti has added 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button and 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson to its 2024 Daytona 24 Hours driver line-up.

Both will race Acura ARX-06s in the IMSA’s top GTP class of prototype sports cars. Button will share driving duties in the number 40 car with Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz and Colton Herta, while Ericsson will team up with Filipe Albuquerque, Brendon Hartley and Ricky Taylor in the number 10 car.

Ericsson will race for Andretti in IndyCar next year and drove for Cadillac in the 2022 Daytona 24 Hours, and Button made his IMSA debut last month by driving a Porsche 963 to fifth place in Petit Le Mans.

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2024 Mexican GP tickets already sold out

Alexander Albon, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023
Next year’s Mexican GP will play to full stands again
Tickets for the 2024 Mexican Grand Prix, scheduled for 25-27th October next year, have already sold out according to the event organiser. This year more than 400,000 fans attended the grand prix, a record for the event since it returned to the F1 calendar in 2015, with a capacity of 109,245 for each day. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez features a stadium section which has seating for 25,000 people.

Mahindra sign Maini as FE reserve

Formula 2 racer will be Mahindra’s reserve driver in Formula E next year. He joins the Indian team to replace F2 rival and fellow Indian driver Jehan Daruvala, who is moving into a race seat with Maserati in FE.

This is the third big announcement Maini has made in just over a month, as in October he became a protege of two-times Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen and then 11 days later was signed to the Alpine Academy. He is currently 11th in the standings in his rookie F2 season, with one podium, and is set to stay in the series for 2024. He will attend non-clashing FE events as Mahindra’s reserve, with Jordan King taking on the role when Maini is not available.

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Comment of the day

There is a trend in design with each of the new street circuits that F1 has added to the calendar in recent years, with Las Vegas being the latest example and set to feature a section of track that could rival the speeds achieved in Mexico City and Monza.

Baku, Jeddah and now Vegas are all trying to create a ‘spectacle’ – and apparently this can only be achieved with high-speed street circuit layouts – that are accident prone on purpose. For all the work on safety standards the F1 and FIA now seem to be willing to push their luck in the name of big cash and an unparalleled experience.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Craig, Cduk_Mugello, Ashwin and Tomez!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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9 comments on “Tsunoda surprised how quick AlphaTauri have been in recent races”

  1. Apparently initial impressions from drivers on the Las Vegas circuit both from what they have driven in the simulator as well as the brief track walk they got is very far from positive.

    The overwhelming consensus is that it’s not going to be at all fun to drive and doesn’t seem to offer any real challenge.

    I also gather that Pirelli are concerned about the possibility of the cold conditions & very high speeds creating standing waves in the sidewall of the tires so they are going to mandate unusually high starting pressures to try & help with the stiffness of the sidewall.

    1. Not at all fun to drive?
      I find the track very enjoyable to drive, just like any other high average speed circuit with only 2-3 annoying parts.

      1. initial impressions from drivers

        I always thought you were the weatherman, rather than one of the drivers ;)

  2. “……. although he thinks the guy with the measuring wheel was not pushing particulary hard and may have been nursing a problem”.

    ooops. sorry. Not the ‘finish the caption compeition’.

    On a more serious note, why do the promoters believe the fans will be so keen on this race when even the driver(s?) have basically said that they don’t want to go there.

  3. In more recent years, Las Vegas has added NHL and NFL franchises with international appeal and hosted more international competitions, including soccer, rugby and now F1.

    I’m surprised the angrier elements of the internet haven’t called out this overt practice of “Vegaswashing” before.

    That’s sarcasm by the way…

  4. Nicely done graphics & Carlando strikes again.

    1. Ah Lando was next to Carlos when the trofee was destroyed…. Lando gets infamous….

  5. I wonder if you asked the drivers how many of them would prefer to be racing in Macau this weekend rather than Vegas.

  6. “Max dominated all his team-mates” Daniel Riccardo would like a word….

Comments are closed.