Liam Lawson missed out on a Formula 1 drive as AlphaTauri confirmed Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo for 2024, but insists he will not look outside Red Bull for a drive.
Lawson has been deputizing for Ricciardo since the Australian driver broke his hand following a crash in practice at Zandvoort, in just his third race after his return to a full time racing seat replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri.
Lawson has quietly impressed in the performances he had put in, even scoring his first points with a ninth place in Singapore, while he came close in Italy and Japan with two 11th places.
However, the Red Bull and AlphaTauri management opted to keep Lawson as a reserve, and confirmed Ricciardo and Tsunoda at the Faenza team for 2024, the announcement made over the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix weekend.
However, the Kiwi is not bothered by that decision, and was quoted by Motorsport.com saying: “I think to be honest, I haven’t thought about it too much. I think right now I’m focused on making the most of this opportunity.
“Obviously ultimately my goal is to be in F1, and the best way to achieve that is by extracting the best possible performance as I can in these races. So maybe I’ll think about it after!
“I think obviously the support has been amazing, it’s great to see the support from everybody, from New Zealand, from everywhere around the world, to be honest,” Lawson added.
Drivers are under pressure from day one at Red Bull program
Lawson beat Tsunoda in Japan, but he insists he is not hell bent on proving the Red Bull powers that be wrong, and when asked if he is under pressure to do so he responded: “I don’t think so.
“I think one of the positives about being a Red Bull driver for me, having five years in this program, is that it’s a high-pressure program. We’re put under pressure from day one, and I’m now used to that, it’s been five years of that. So situations like this, I’m ready for them.
“Honestly, right now I’m trying to just do the best job in these races that I can, I think once the stint that I have is over, then I can start looking at potentially how I’ve done, and what options there are, but right now I’m focused on these races,” the 21-year-old insisted.
As to whether he may look outside the Red Bull F1 seats for a drive, Lawson said: “I’m a Red Bull driver, all the Red Bull seats are filled, and unfortunately that means for now I’ll be a reserve driver.”
It is worth noting that the only available F1 seat for 2024 is at Williams, as rookie Logan Sargeant’s chances to retain his drive for 2024 are becoming more slim.
Big Question: Did Lawson deserve to be on the 2024 F1 grid?