As Formula 1 gears up for the United States Grand Prix, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has conveyed a message of hope and encouragement to Red Bull junior Liam Lawson, asserting that “his time will come.”
Ricciardo, who returned to F1 action with AlphaTauri earlier in the season, shared his sentiments about Lawson’s promising career.
Ricciardo began the 2023 F1 season as Red Bull’s reserve driver before making a comeback to a race seat with AlphaTauri in preparation for the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.
However, his return to the track was short-lived, with a broken hand sustained in a practice crash at the Dutch Grand Prix sidelining him for the last five races.
During his absence, Red Bull junior Liam Lawson filled his shoes and made an impressive impact, securing AlphaTauri’s best result of the season with a ninth-place finish in Singapore.
When asked about Lawson’s performance during his absence, Ricciardo responded affirmatively, stating, “Yes. One does.
“He did a very good job.”
Pressed further to elaborate on his view, the 34-year-old driver offered a more detailed assessment, saying, “He did a great job, for sure.”
In terms of Lawson’s uncertain status for the upcoming season, Ricciardo emphasised that the young driver has a bright future ahead of him.
“In terms of him currently not having a seat next year, I think it’s one of those ones where he’s young.
“I think it’s not like he’s at the end of his career; he’s very much in the early part of his career, so just keep persisting, keep your head down,” Ricciardo advised.
Ricciardo praised Lawson for creating opportunities for himself and expressed his confidence in the Kiwi driver’s future prospects.
He added, “I think he did very well to create an opportunity for himself, so I think if he keeps on that course, his time will come. That’s really it.”
The Australian driver also shared insights into the mindset of young racers and their ambitions. “We always feel as drivers, and we all obviously believe in ourselves so much that you always feel like you’re ready and [you ask yourself]: why isn’t it happening yet?
“Your career can be very long, I guess. He’s young – he’s 21 or something – so I’m sure he’ll find a way on the grid if he keeps up what he’s been doing.”