ADVERTISEMENT
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 17: Liam Lawson of New Zealand and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to drive on the grid during the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 17, 2023 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Injured Ricciardo, another chance for Lawson to shine

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 17: Liam Lawson of New Zealand and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to drive on the grid during the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 17, 2023 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Super-sub Liam Lawson is hoping for another strong weekend with AlphaTauri when he returns to more familiar Suzuka for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, his opportunity coming at the expense of Daniel Ricciardo.

The 21-year-old New Zealander, who will be racing for the fourth time in place of injured Ricciardo at the Red Bull-owned team, scored his first points with ninth in Singapore last Sunday.

He already has experience of Suzuka from competing in Japanese Super Formula this year: “I’ve tested and raced there quite a few times and I absolutely love it.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m hoping that we can be strong there, and it helps to know the track reasonably well. I’m expecting it to be very different to drive in a Formula One car, but I’m excited to go there. I think, in a Formula 1 car, it’s one of the best circuits you could drive,” ventured Lawson

AlphaTauri’s other driver Yuki Tsunoda will be the sole Japanese in the race and hoping for third time lucky after failing to start in Italy and then retiring on the opening lap in Singapore.

The team are last in the constructors’ championship with only five points.

“Liam will have raced in three grands prix, so he will have more knowledge, and we’re expecting a good team performance,” said Tsunoda. “The upgrades we introduced in Singapore seem to work, so maybe we can aim for the top 10 or top eight.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)