Sergio Perez threat praises Daniel Ricciardo amid showdown

Daniel Ricciardo is keen to replace Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen's team-mate at Red Bull as soon as possible.

Liam Lawson was keen to accept AlphaTauri’s decision to choose Daniel Ricciardo as a replacement for Nyck de Vries earlier this year, making his F1 race debut at the Dutch Grand Prix. 

De Vries had struggled with form in the early part of the season, leading to his departure from the Red Bull sister squad after the British Grand Prix.

Ricciardo, who had been working as a third driver for Red Bull following his departure from McLaren at the end of the previous year, was loaned to AlphaTauri for the remainder of the season. 

However, his stint with the team was short-lived, as he participated in only the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix. 

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During the Friday practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix, which marked Formula 1’s return from the summer break, Ricciardo suffered a crash, breaking his left hand. 

He underwent surgery and is in the process of recovery, but his return date remains uncertain. In his absence, Liam Lawson took the reins for the Dutch and Italian Grands Prix.

Questions linger about Ricciardo’s readiness for the physically demanding races in Singapore and Japan, with a potential return date set for the Qatar Grand Prix on October 8th.

Liam Lawson, hailing from New Zealand, has been actively competing in the Super Formula category this year and is in contention for the championship title, with the double-header finale at Suzuka slated for the end of October.

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Reflecting on AlphaTauri’s decision to choose Ricciardo over him, Lawson expressed his understanding of the rationale behind the move. 

When asked if he felt overlooked at the time, Lawson responded, “To be honest, no, I was still in my own season. 

“And I was still at that point as well. 

“So in this situation with the reason behind choosing Daniel, somebody as experienced as him relative to somebody who’s never driven Formula 1, I think it made more sense for sure. 

“The only thing I care about is my chances of a future in Formula 1. 

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“And that was my first question and basically what I was focused on.”

With a seat at AlphaTauri next season still an open question, Lawson will be hoping to show he is the right driver to race alongside Yuki Tsunoda next season.

Ricciardo, on the other hand, will be hoping to recover swiftly, so he can fight for his place on the Formula 1 grid after being given a life line this season.