AlphaTauri reveal why Liam Lawson was snubbed

Liam Lawson will remain as Red Bull's reserve driver in 2024, despite having impressed at AlphaTauri in recent races.

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer has revealed that Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson wasn’t given a seat for 2024 as the team can’t have “two young” drivers in order to move forwards, with the Kiwi instead going to put pressure on Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo to perform.

Despite having performed brilliantly since replacing the injured Ricciardo at the Dutch Grand Prix from Free Practice 3 onwards, there is no room on the grid for the young star next season.

Given how quickly he adjusted to the AT04 and Formula 1, most expected him to perhaps take Tsunoda’s seat, with Ricciardo’s “expertise” being highly valued at the Faenza-based squad.

Instead, it’s another year on the bench at Red Bull for Lawson, although Bayer has acknowledged that he’s doing an “excellent job”.

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There is no doubting that Lawson is going to be a full-time F1 driver in the future, perhaps as soon as 2025, especially as Ricciardo is tipped to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull when the Mexican’s deal expires.

Lawson’s performance at the Singapore Grand Prix is what’s really resulted in his market value to skyrocket, as he made it to Q3 and then scored points at one of the toughest venues on the calendar.

Tsunoda’s solid progression over the last three years has convinced AlphaTauri to retain the Japanese driver over promoting Lawson though, with the Red Bull sister team believing that Tsunoda is close to being at his very best.

“We had lots of discussions about the future of the team and our shareholders said, ‘we want you to continue and educate young drivers, but we also want you to be successful’,” Bayer said, as reported by

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“I think, ultimately, you can’t have both,” Bayer insisted. “You can’t have two young – inverted commas – drivers in the team. And we were looking at what do we need to deliver that purpose and we finally came to the conclusion that, first of all, we only have two seats and Daniel is offering a lot of expertise, especially when it comes down to the set-up of the car, which is something that we were struggling with.

“Yuki, over the years has grown and is now coming to the pinnacle of his performance curve. So we thought that those two make the right team.

“On top of that, I think it’s also good to have somebody like Liam just behind them to keep the fire warm under their seats and to make sure that we progress as a team.”

Whilst the recent Qatar Grand Prix was more challenging for Lawson, he’s stunned a lot of people since replacing Ricciardo in Zandvoort.

Ricciardo is predicted to return at the upcoming United States Grand Prix next weekend; however, Bayer believes that everyone can agree that Lawson has done brilliantly.

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“I think everybody will agree that,” Bayer said. “You know, his baptism in Zandvoort was incredibly challenging. And with, you know, the rain and the track being a difficult track and he mastered it, and he kept performing.

“He’s done an excellent job working with the engineers. You can hear him… Well, actually, you don’t hear him because he’s listening. And then he’s improving lap by lap. He’s a very quick learner.

“He’s fighting. And I really have to say, I admire what he did in Singapore. His car seemed to be double as wide as the others.

“And I called him Liam the Lion afterwards, because I thought that was an impressive performance. And he keeps delivering, so very happy to have him on board as part of the family.”