ADVERTISEMENT
SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 24: Liam Lawson of New Zealand and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to drive on the grid prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on September 24, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202309240146 // Usage for editorial use only //

AlphaTauri: For Qatar, Lawson will sub again for Ricciardo

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 24: Liam Lawson of New Zealand and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to drive on the grid prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on September 24, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202309240146 // Usage for editorial use only //

Liam Lawson will continue to stand in for AlphaTauri’s injured but recovering slowly Daniel Ricciardo for the fifth straight race at this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old New Zealander made his Formula 1 race debut at the Dutch Grand Prix in August after Ricciardo crashed and broke his hand in practice. He scored his first points when he finished ninth in Singapore, his third race, last month.

Qatar is a sprint weekend, with a 100km race on Saturday ahead of the main grand prix on Sunday night and points to be scored in both.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lawson said in the AlphaTauri preview of the weekend ahead at Lusail: “We still have more to learn about our new package, and I’m not so sure that Qatar is the type of circuit that will suit our car,” .

“Learning takes time, and we’ve got more opportunities in Qatar to try and get the most out of it. However, it’s also a Sprint weekend, so at the same time, that makes it quite tricky, especially in my situation. I’ve never driven here, so going into the sprint weekend will be extra tough,” predicted the Kiwi

Lawson drove the track on the simulator last week and expected an exciting but tough weekend: “With only one free practice session, we drivers will have to know where to improve because it’ll get faster at night when it’s much cooler, and we need to know exactly how to extract everything out of the car.”

“I’m expecting it to be tougher than the races we’ve just done, added Lawson, confirmed by Red Bull as a reserve for next season, with Australian Ricciardo and Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda signed for next season.

Lawson, who is also competing in Japan’s Super Formula series with the final round clashing with the Mexican Grand Prix, said his goal now was to make sure he secured an F1 seat in future.

“Right now, I’ve still got this opportunity to keep trying to show something, and I’ll try to make the most of it,” he said. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)