Liam Lawson breaks silence on replacing Daniel Ricciardo for 2024

Having stepped in to replace Daniel Ricciardo after an injury earlier this season, Liam Lawson has seized the opportunity to show his potential in Formula 1.

Liam Lawson’s auditions for a 2024 AlphaTauri race seat have been nothing short of impressive, and the Kiwi driver’s journey took another intriguing turn as he stood in for Daniel Ricciardo at the Japanese Grand Prix. 

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer, speaking to ServusTV, confirmed Lawson’s continued stint with the team.

Lawson’s opportunity with AlphaTauri began suddenly during the Dutch Grand Prix, where he replaced Ricciardo, who had sustained a hand injury in an FP2 crash. 

His performances since that unexpected debut have generated considerable buzz and elevated him to serious consideration for a 2024 race seat with the team.

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The young driver’s remarkable journey includes a debut race where he outperformed his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, and his recent outing at the Singapore Grand Prix. 

In Singapore, Lawson secured an impressive top-ten qualifying position, finishing in ninth place the following day and earning valuable points for the team. 

Notably, Lawson achieved what Nyck de Vries, Tsunoda’s initial teammate for the season, could not accomplish in ten races.

Bayer’s announcement that Lawson would participate in the Japanese Grand Prix underscored the team’s confidence in the 21-year-old driver. 

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Speaking about Lawson’s recent performances, Bayer expressed his satisfaction, stating, “We are very happy with the performance. 

“Two points and the best result of the season in his third race ever. 

“We’re happy with Liam’s performance; he fought like a lion.”

Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, also recognised Lawson’s talents and resilience. 

Horner noted that Lawson, as a Red Bull Racing driver on loan to AlphaTauri, had performed impressively despite the challenging circumstances he had been placed in, stepping into the car at a demanding track like Singapore.

However, it remains a matter of time until Daniel Ricciardo, recovering from his hand injury, returns to the cockpit. 

In addition to his AlphaTauri commitments, Lawson is set to compete in a double-header of the Super Formula series at the end of October. 

As for AlphaTauri’s driver lineup for the next season, Bayer suggested that discussions are ongoing and could be finalised soon.

“The discussions are in full swing,” Bayer explained to Sky Deutschland. 

“We see each other every day and try to coordinate. 

“Liam has secured a regular place in the group with this performance, and we’ll see who will be in the car next year in the next few days.”

Bayer confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo would definitely return to the car later this year, but the long-term driver situation remains open. 

Lawson himself emphasised that he was fully focused on making the most of every session and that the ultimate decision rested with Red Bull’s top executives.

When asked about his prospects for next year, Lawson responded, “Next year? I don’t know, to be honest. 

“That’s not something I’m focusing on. 

“I’m focusing on maximising every session. 

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“When this stint [of substitutes] is over, I’ll look back on it and hopefully, I’ll feel like I’ve done everything I could do. 

“But it is up to them [Red Bull bosses] to decide that and not up to me.”

Reports suggest that AlphaTauri may opt to place Lawson alongside Ricciardo for the 2024 season, potentially relegating Tsunoda to the role of Red Bull reserve driver.