Liam Lawson says he would understand if he were to return to a reserve role in 2024 but says the situation would leave him unhappy.

Lawson was drafted in by AlphaTauri to replace Daniel Ricciardo from the Dutch Grand Prix after the Australian – who only replaced Nyck de Vries two events prior – suffered a fractured hand.

Lawson claimed his first career points – and AlphaTauri’s best 2023 result – by placing ninth in Singapore on Sunday.

Lawson is in contention to compete full-time for AlphaTauri in 2024 but will vacate the cockpit of the AT04 as soon as Ricciardo is cleared to return.

AlphaTauri has yet to determine its 2024 driver line-up though it is understood Yuki Tsunoda is favourite to remain, while Ricciardo is also confident over his chances of returning full-time.

“I wouldn’t be happy to go back to being reserve but obviously I know how hard it is to get to Formula 1, and I understand that can be really, really difficult sometimes,” said Lawson on Thursday.

“So what will happen will happen, yeah, these things I haven’t really thought about too much, I’ve just tried to make the most of this [opportunity].”

Lawson, who outlined that talks over 2024 have yet to take place, believes Ricciardo will attempt a return to action for the next event in Qatar.

“I think it’s a realistic goal but I have no idea exactly the chances of that happening or not,” said Lawson.

“I think after this [grand prix] I’ll probably do some preparation for Qatar, but the goal is definitely to have Daniel back by then.”

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