Liam Lawson says he understands the decision to overlook him in favour of Daniel Ricciardo for a seat at AlphaTauri for the remainder of the 2023 Formula 1 season. 

Amid Nyck de Vries’ ongoing struggles, Lawson had previously been pinpointed as a credible replacement option by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

However, it was confirmed on Tuesday that de Vries would be vacating his seat to be replaced by ex-Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo for the rest of the campaign.

Despite missing out, Lawson insists his intention was always to see out the current year in Super Formula, whilst admitting he is still targeting a place on the 2024 F1 grid.

“I always wanted to complete the season here [in Super Formula],” Lawson revealed to “My goal was to get a seat for next year.

“To jump in mid-season would have been extremely tough, and in AlphaTauri’s position, they were wanting someone experienced who has been in Formula 1 for a long time. So I understand their decision.

“But this [Super Formula] is what I am focused on. Any shot I have at Formula 1 rides on how I do here. So I have to complete the year in the best way possible, and try to win this championship, which is what will give me the chance.

“I need to make sure I do everything I can to give myself the best opportunity. And then, if it doesn’t happen, I can say there’s nothing more I could have done.”

Liam Lawson (NZL) AlphaTauri AT03 Test Driver. 28.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Practice Day.

Williams’ recent resurgence means AlphaTauri is rooted to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship with only two points to its name in the opening 10 races.

The decision to place eight-time F1 race winner Ricciardo in the seat alongside Tsunoda comes after new AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer suggested that partnering experience with youth would be the ideal blend going forward for the Italian squad.

Lawson, however, has dismissed any notion that he will be rooting for Ricciardo to triumph over Yuki Tsunoda.

“I just need a seat, and whoever’s seat it is, I don’t really care!

“I am just focused on this, it’s what [Red Bull] has told me to focus on as well. The expectation is for me to go and win the championship, and then we’ll discuss it.”

Although he is yet to make his F1 bow, Lawson has completed several practice and testing outings for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri since being appointed the former’s reserve driver in 2022.

Lawson, therefore, believes that experience has prepared him adequately for a permanent seat if it materialises next year.

“I’m the reserve driver this year, by the end of the year I will have been the reserve for nearly two seasons,” he acknowledged.

“I’m ready for Formula 1, I want a seat. I will focus on doing the best job here so I can get that. And beyond that, it’s out of my control.”

Lawson has excelled since switching to Super Formula, recording a win on his debut for Team Mugen at the Fuji Speedway.

The Kiwi racer scored another victory at Autopolis, with second spot in qualifying for this weekend’s round reducing his deficit to Ritomo Miyata down to 10 points.

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