In the course of the Zandvoort weekend, New Zealander driver Liam Lawson ascended to replace injured playmate, Daniel Ricciardo. Lawson, who initially joined the team as a substitute for the Australian racer, fulfilled this role up until the weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Lawson received his call-up to take the helm at the last moment in The Netherlands. Having since progressed in skill and confidence, he has caught the attention of Red Bull superiors are paying close attention to this progress. A testament to his consecutive improvement is his distinguished ninth spot and a qualification match at the Q3 stage during the Singaporean GP of the previous weekend.
The recent streak of impressive performances by Lawson has placed the Red Bull team in the position where they must choose among Lawson, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo for the two AlphaTauri seats in the forthcoming year. Even so, speculations maintain that it is most probable for Tsunoda and Ricciardo to retain their current positions.
On the threshold of the Suzuka weekend, Lawson voiced his displeasure at the thought of reverting to the role of a reserve driver after having a taste of Formula 1 race driving. “I wouldn’t be happy to go back to being reserve, but obviously, I know how hard it is to get into Formula 1,” Lawson conveyed his sentiments, showing acknowledgment for the possible challenges. He voiced his acceptance stating, “what will happen, will happen.”
The young driver speculates that things will set into motion after he steps down from his interim role. Given the back-to-back nature of uphill races, there’s been scarce opportunity for discussions. However, with the return of Ricciardo likley at the forthcoming race in Qatar, Lawson’s sole focus is now to deliver his maximum in Japan.
The racer admits, “To be honest, there hasn’t been a huge amount of time to discuss the future.” Yet, he remains optimistic about having made a pretty positive start so far. Upholding a steady approach, he aims to continue delivering great results and seize the moment until the return of Racardio. He declared, “I’m trying to do everything I can to show that I can be here.”
Reflecting on his journey so far, Lawson expressed satisfaction with his own performance given the unexpected turn of events. However, he believes there’s room for improvement and that the AlphaTauri can still be further maximized. According to him, “There’s just more with more time in the car, but for the nature of the situation, for how I’ve come into it, I think we’ve done well.”
The driver, who’s still getting comfortable with the vehicle, acknowledges his rivals’ advantage due to their experience in the current season. Notwithstanding, he’s looking forward to being more comfortable with each passing week and hopes for a more refined control over the car in the imminent weekend.