Liam Lawson would not be happy to return to F1 as a reserve driver in 2024 but he might need to wait his turn as rumours suggest Red Bull are keen to see Daniel Ricciardo back in a Formula 1 race seat as soon as possible, despite replacement rookie Liam Lawson impressing with his stand in races covering the injured Australian.
Having experienced the joys of being a Formula 1 driver, New Zealander Liam Lawson admits that he would find it very difficult to return to his role as a reserve driver for Red Bull if he did not get a regular seat next season.
A reserve driver for Red Bull and AlphaTauri in F1, Liam Lawson was called into action from the Dutch Grand Prix onwards after regular driver Daniel Ricciardo injured his left hand in an accident during Free Practice 2 at Zandvoort.
With Daniel Ricciardo out for at least three races, Liam Lawson has been handed his seat at AlphaTauri, and the 21-year-old New Zealander impressed many in the paddock after scoring his first Formula 1 points in Singapore on Sunday.
Red Bull undecided, officially
Liam Lawson is now a strong contender for a starting seat at AlphaTauri next season, but as yet no decision has been made by Red Bull.
“I wouldn’t be happy to go back to being a reserve driver, but I obviously know how difficult it is to get into Formula 1, and I understand that it can be very difficult at times,” said Liam Lawson in Suzuka on Thursday.
“So whatever has to happen will happen. These are things I haven’t thought about yet, because I’ve tried so far to make the most of this opportunity.”
Lawson: Ricciardo will be back
The New Zealander – who stressed that negotiations regarding 2024 had not yet begun – believes that Daniel Ricciardo will be back behind the wheel of his Formula 1 car at the next round of the year in Qatar.
“I think it’s a realistic target, but I don’t know exactly what the chances are of it happening or not,” added Liam Lawson of Ricciardo’s return.
“I think after [the Japanese Grand Prix] I’d probably do a bit of preparation for Qatar, but the aim is definitely for Daniel to be back by then.”
Red Bull need Ricciardo back in a race seat
With the end of the season fast approaching, AlphaTauri has yet to reveal the identity of its two drivers for the 2024 Formula 1 season, but if CEO Peter Bayer is to be believed, Daniel Ricciardo has a good chance of being retained for next season, not least because of his experience.
“I think that …. obviously we can’t just develop young drivers – we also have to be competitive,” admitted Peter Bayer in an exclusive interview with PlanetF1.com.
“I think that to be competitive these days, you need to have an experienced driver and a young driver in both cars. That’s really what we’re trying to achieve, you know, having an experienced driver and a young driver.”
There are whispers in the paddock that Red Bull and AlphaTauri need to see Daniel Ricciardo back on track before the end of the year to assess the Australian’s performance before making a decision on its driver pairing for the 2024 season.
Bizarre Tsunoda rumours
The 2023 Formula One silly season has been nothing but a damp squib. The driver market has thus far been utterly predictable with Mercedes retaining both Hamilton and Russell, Haas indicating they will make no changes and Ferrari and Aston Martin have drivers with contracts through to 2025.
McLaren have Lando Norris locked in for two more seasons and new boy Oscar Piastri is expected to receive a contract extension with the papaya liveried team…. READ MORE ON THIS STORY