Tsunoda, Ricciardo and Lawson are in a three-way tussle for the two available seats at AlphaTauri for next year, with all three appearing to have a solid case.

Lawson’s stunning performance to chalk up AlphaTauri’s best result of the season with a ninth-place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix has put the 21-year-old New Zealander well in the frame. 

But it remains to be seen if AlphaTauri will favour the experience of Ricciardo, who is still recovering from a broken hand he sustained in just his second race after completing a sensational return to F1.

It has been reported that Tsunoda is closing on a new deal to retain his seat, but there has been no official confirmation from AlphaTauri as yet. 

Asked about his own future and who his teammate will be next season ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, Tsunoda replied: “It’s not confirmed. I don’t know, to be honest I think both perspectives are a positive. 

“Daniel brings definitely more experience and he showed a lot of feedback. Comparison is really good. He definitely can tell more details about how the car is behaving so I think it helps a lot for the engineers.

“And I think he likes it, especially how he talks and how he helps the development side. So if the team wants to develop the car more to be competitive, maybe Daniel.

“But at the same time Liam, I think he showed in his first two or three races that he immediately has performance and probably he’s still progressing.

“So on the performance side, obviously I’ve just done two races with Daniel and it was not really probably the best time for AlphaTauri as well.

“But in the last two races, when Liam actually came into Formula 1, the car was pretty good in Monza and Singapore. So actually, he had a good time as well but at the same time he definitely performed well.

“So I think for AlphaTauri itself, we know this is a junior team, but at the same time there’s a bit more of a risk if we think about the results in general.

“So if they want more results, probably Daniel would be more easier as he has more experience to extract the results maybe. But also Liam has done the best [result].”

The Japanese driver said he was too “scared to say” which driver would be a better option and joked that AlphaTauri should run three cars to solve the problem. 

“I think Liam also is the best scorer. He got ninth, I’ve never done ninth,” he added. 

“I’ll stop here. Maybe Liam and Daniel - three seats.”