Christian Horner admits Liam Lawson ‘firmly on the radar’ amid Sergio Perez pressure

Despite stellar performances at AlphaTauri, Liam Lawson may have to bide his time for a full-time Formula 1 role.

AlphaTauri driver Liam Lawson has stepped into the limelight as a substitute for Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri. 

The Kiwi driver, just 21 years old, was called upon by Red Bull to replace Ricciardo following the Aussie’s injury during FP2 at Zandvoort, where he fractured his left hand.

Lawson’s performances in Formula 1 have been on a steady upward trajectory with each passing race. 

In Singapore, he showcased his potential by qualifying in the top ten and securing his maiden championship points in the race. 

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As Lawson embarks on his third race with AlphaTauri in Japan, it is expected that he will continue with the team for the Qatar Grand Prix next month.

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull Racing, has been closely monitoring Lawson’s progress and is thoroughly impressed with his performance as Ricciardo’s substitute. 

Horner commended Lawson, stating, “He was dropped in, in the rain, in Zandvoort, that was a bit of an eye-opener for him, but I thought he did pretty well there.”

Horner continued to praise Lawson’s resilience, highlighting his impressive debut. 

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“Seeing Singapore for the first time and scoring a couple of points, he’s a gritty racer, we know that about him, and I think he’s grabbed this opportunity in Formula 1. 

“Very seldom do drivers get a chance to demonstrate their talent. 

“I think he’s done a tremendous job and certainly has put himself firmly on the radar and cemented the feeling that we had about him.”

Despite Lawson’s outstanding performances, his future as a full-time Grand Prix driver may require patience. 

Yuki Tsunoda is set to continue with AlphaTauri for a fourth season, and Daniel Ricciardo remains Red Bull’s preferred choice for the team’s second seat.

“We’ve got a luxury problem,” Horner acknowledged. 

“We’ve got three into two in that team, obviously it’s an AlphaTauri issue. 

“But it’s three great drivers and it’s a nice headache to have. 

“He will be a grand prix driver, he already is a grand prix driver. 

“At some stage, whether he has to wait a little for that or not, then I think he’s demonstrating that he is a talent for the future.”

READ: Max Verstappen was happy Red Bull struggled in Singapore as he sends ominous warning

Looking ahead to the 2024 Formula 1 season, only one seat on the grid remains unfilled, which is at Williams, where the future of Logan Sargeant is uncertain. 

“If there was a seat, I think there’s only one seat left available, we’ve done that in the past when, for example, Carlos Sainz went on loan to the previous Renault team,” Horner explained. 

“But if he’s not sitting in a grand prix car next year, then he’s going to have plenty on his plate with other stuff to do.”