Liam Lawson shares comical Daniel Ricciardo replacement story

Liam Lawson will replace Daniel Ricciardo again this weekend in Qatar, as the Australian is still recovering from injury.

Liam Lawson has revealed ahead of this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix that it was Daniel Ricciardo who told him that he’d be getting another chance behind the wheel of the AT04, following a comical FaceTime.

The Red Bull reserve driver has replaced Ricciardo ever since the 34-year-old fractured the metacarpal in his left hand during Free Practice 2 at the Dutch Grand Prix, something which required surgery in Barcelona.

Due to Red Bull not wanting to rush Ricciardo’s return due to him already having a seat at AlphaTauri in 2024 – as does Yuki Tsunoda – Lawson has continued in his seat for longer than originally expected.

This weekend’s return to Qatar is still too soon for Ricciardo to get back into the cockpit, giving Lawson his first taste of F1 sprint racing.

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Comically, Ricciardo facetimed Lawson to tell him the good news, although the Kiwi didn’t have the Aussie’s number in his phone!

“I was sitting at lunch and I had a random number call me and it was a FaceTime. I was really confused because people don’t just FaceTime randomly, so I answered it and it was just Daniel’s face!

“He basically said that he thought he’d let me have another weekend. Obviously good to be back, good to be in the car this weekend. I’m excited.”

Since replacing Ricciardo, Lawson has been absolutely exceptional.

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Many have been left disappointed that the young Kiwi hasn’t been given a seat for 2024, given that he made it to Q3 and scored points on just his third F1 appearance recently in Singapore.

He almost made it back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Japanese Grand Prix, where he finished 11th.

Lawson is hoping for another strong weekend in Qatar given that it could be his last experience competing in F1 until 2025, with him having been preparing for this weekend since leaving Suzuka.

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“To be honest, after Japan, it was looking more likely that we’d be driving so we just carried on preparing like normal,” Lawson revealed.

“I didn’t assume I was driving but we prepped like a normal situation like I would be. It’s a bit different.

“I want to be here full-time but just trying to make the most of this. I think [Austin] is definitely the target. I think that’s more likely. Obviously, I can’t say for certain, but we have over a week to get more time to be ready for it. So, I would say it’s probably Austin.”