In a candid discussion, Bernie Collins highlights the unfortunate realities of Formula 1, where Liam Lawson, despite a strong performance, misses out on a 2024 seat. This development is partly attributed to sponsor-led decisions in the sport.
- Sponsor Influence in F1: Bernie Collins, Sky F1 presenter and former Aston Martin strategist, pointed out the significant role of sponsorship in F1 decisions. She emphasized that Liam Lawson’s absence from a 2024 seat, despite proving his mettle, is a pity, hinting at sponsor-led influences overshadowing pure performance.
- Lawson’s Missed Opportunity: Despite a commendable five-race stint as a reserve driver for Daniel Ricciardo, earning valuable points for his team, Lawson missed out on a 2024 seat with AlphaTauri. This is speculated to be due to a deal between Red Bull and engine partner Honda.
- Future Prospects for Lawson: While Lawson expressed a desire to stay within the Red Bull family, Collins believes that his performances have put him in a strong position for future opportunities. She suggests that other team managers should take note of his quick adaptability and impressive performances.
In a recent discussion, Sky F1 presenter Bernie Collins shed light on the intricate dynamics of Formula 1, particularly highlighting the case of Liam Lawson, a promising talent who missed out on a seat for the 2024 season. According to Collins, this scenario underscores a broader issue in the sport: the significant influence of sponsorships in decision-making.
“It’s a pity in F1 that some things are led by sponsors,” Collins remarked, pointing out the complex interplay between performance and sponsorship in determining a driver’s future.
This year, Lawson, serving as a reserve driver, stepped up remarkably during Daniel Ricciardo’s absence due to a hand injury. In his brief but impactful five-race stint, Lawson not only demonstrated his capabilities but also earned points for his team in his Formula 1 debut. However, despite this promising performance, a deal between Red Bull and Honda, its engine partner, is speculated to have influenced the decision-making process, overshadowing Lawson’s on-track achievements.
Collins further emphasized the potential of Lawson, stating, “On pure performance, he should be in a car, he should be in a seat.” She lamented the missed opportunity to pair Lawson with Ricciardo at AlphaTauri, a combination she believed would have been highly beneficial for the team.
Amidst these developments, Lawson expressed his commitment to the Red Bull family, even when faced with the possibility of driving for other teams like Williams. Collins noted Lawson’s strong position for future opportunities, given his exceptional performance in a short time frame. “To get in a car that quickly is no mean feat,” she remarked, suggesting that Lawson’s talent has not gone unnoticed.
As the 2024 season approaches, the spotlight on sponsorship’s role in Formula 1 continues to intensify, with talented drivers like Lawson finding themselves at the crossroads of performance and commercial interests. Collins’s insights offer a candid view of the sport’s current landscape, where pure racing talent sometimes takes a backseat to business considerations.