Liam Lawson has outlined his plans for 2024, stating his focus will be on simulator work as he continues his role as Red Bull and AlphaTauri reserve driver.

The New Zealander missed out on a full-time AlphaTauri seat for 2023, with Nyck De Vries lining up alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

Lawson was again overlooked in favour of Daniel Ricciardo when de Vries was axed after 10 rounds. But when the Australian suffered an injury mishap in free practice at Zandvoort, Lawson found himself given the opportunity to impress with a five-round stint behind the wheel of the AT04.

Despite impressing, most notably with a ninth-place finish in Singapore, Lawson has missed out once again on a full-time AlphaTauri seat, with Ricciardo lining up with Tsunoda in 2024 instead.

So what next for Lawson?

“Because I’ve raced in most championships and I’ve even been in F1, I can’t really go and do F2 again,” the New Zealander revealed on the Beyond The Grid podcast. “There’d be no point.

“I can’t do Super Formula again. I could, but there’s less benefit from doing it.

“So I think it’s full focus on being reserve. That means a lot of simulator, which for me, I think is what helped getting into Formula 1 and adjusting to it so quickly.

“I’ve been two years now, nearly, as a reserve so I’ve done lots of simulator work over the last couple of years and that will just continue now into next year, and getting to learn and basically absorb being alongside the best team in Formula 1 right now.

“I get to sit through all the meetings and learn how they operate.”

Being fully integrated into a Formula 1 team is one thing, but Lawson has certainly shown he has what it takes for a full-time drive instead of being confined to the role of reserve.

However, Lawson understands why the Red Bull hierarchy has chosen to overlook him not once but twice.

“We were having a shocking F2 season and we turned it around at the end, but it was all too late,” he said of being overlooked in favour of de Vries.

 “I had a really good end to the season, I had good testing in F1, but by then the decision was made, so that’s frustrating.

“I think this year as well, although I’m having a much better season, you have the option mid-season in a team that’s struggling quite a bit, you have the option of somebody who’s never been in Formula 1 to jump in mid-season or somebody who’s very experienced in Formula 1 and has won races.”

Liam Lawson (NZL) AlphaTauri AT04. 23.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Qualifying Day.


Ricciardo is an eight-time Grand Prix winner with an almost limitless marketing potential due to his winning personality, two factors that helped him land the 2024 AlphaTauri drive over Lawson, even if question marks still linger over him as a result of his troublesome stint at McLaren.

Sergio Perez’s questionable form at Red Bull is also a key factor at play in the situation.

With the Mexican unlikely to stay at the Milton-Keynes-based outfit beyond the end of his contract in 2024, his successor will need to be determined.

A year at AlphaTauri to rediscover his form would help Ricciardo – a seven-time GP winner with Red Bull – get back to the team he had his best years with.

So it would appear Lawson isn’t in Red Bull’s immediate plans for a race seat at either of the two teams under its purview, but that won’t dissuade him from knocking at the door.

“Again, it’s frustrating to take, but I can sit there and make sense of this decision and understand,” he added .

“It’s frustrating to not be driving next year, but I will continue to make the most of still being involved in Formula 1 at least.

“I’m a Red Bull driver. If I ever get a chance in Formula 1, it’ll be through Red Bull Racing. I think it would be Red Bull that give me my shot.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *