Liam Lawson puts a target on Logan Sargeant’s back

Liam Lawson will remain as Red Bull's reserve driver in 2024 if Williams opt not to sign him.

Logan Sargeant’s seat at Williams is Liam Lawson’s only chance of featuring on the grid next season, as it was confirmed Saturday morning that he’d been snubbed by AlphaTauri for 2024.

AlphaTauri announced at the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Free Practice 3 that Yuki Tsunoda had been retained for a fourth season with the side, whilst Daniel Ricciardo had been given a full-time deal.

Ricciardo, of course, moved across to AlphaTauri from being Red Bull’s development driver at the Hungarian Grand Prix, to replace the dropped Nyck de Vries.

He’s only made two appearances since then, with the Australian having been absent since crashing in Free Practice 2 at the Dutch Grand Prix.

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Ricciardo is continuing to recover from his hand surgery, after he broke a metacarpal in his left hand.

Lawson has replaced him since and will do so until the eight-time race winner is fit to return, something which could still be a little while.

Despite having only completed two races for the team, Ricciardo has still been chosen over Lawson for 2024, something which has been labelled as a “huge shame”.

“I think he did enough to show that he deserves that seat,” ex-F1 engineer Kees van de Grint said on Viaplay. “But next year he will only have the test role.

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“I think that’s a huge shame.”

AlphaTauri signing Ricciardo for 2024 has convinced ex-F1 driver Christijan Albers that Red Bull will promote their former driver back into the team in 2025, once Sergio Perez’s contract expires in 2024.

Albers is convinced that team principal Christian Horner wants Ricciardo back alongside Max Verstappen at the Milton Keynes-based team, with Lawson seemingly just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“(Christian) Horner was really disappointed when Daniel left Red Bull,” Albers said. “I think Horner wants him next to Max again, but for that he needs miles.

“That this happens to Lawson in the process is not fair.”

The only seat available on the 2024 grid now is at Williams, who are yet to confirm as to whether Sargeant will be retained.

Reportedly, Williams are wanting to give the American rookie another season; however, a crash in Q1 at the Japanese GP won’t have worked in his favour.

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Some have said that the Grove-based team should consider a move for Lawson, whom Red Bull would seemingly be happy to loan.

“He (Lawson) is in the Red Bull family,” said Horner. “If there was a seat, and I think there’s only one left available, you know, we’ve done it in the past when Carlos Sainz went on loan to Renault.

“But no, I think if Liam’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.”