As the 2024 Formula 1 season looms on the horizon, the spotlight is firmly fixed on the AlphaTauri team and their decision on who will occupy the permanent seats. Red Bull’s reserve driver, Liam Lawson, has made his position unmistakably clear – he “wouldn’t be happy to go back to being a reserve driver.”
The suspense continues to mount as the Italian-based AlphaTauri team has yet to confirm the drivers for the 2024 season. Yuki Tsunoda’s current contract, set to expire at the end of the year, is on the brink of an imminent contract extension announcement. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo, who stepped in to replace Nyck de Vries after ten races, has faced a road to recovery following a wrist injury sustained during Dutch GP practice. He stands as another favorable choice for the team.
Liam Lawson, thrust into the spotlight as Ricciardo’s stand-in since his unfortunate injury, has delivered a string of remarkable performances, with a notable highlight being his impressive 2-point finish at the Singapore Grand Prix. The stakes are high, and the AlphaTauri team faces a difficult choice. Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, recently confirmed that the driver not selected for a full-time seat will serve as the reserve driver for both AlphaTauri and Red Bull.
In an interview with Sky Sports F1 ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Lawson articulated his stance. He made it clear that he’s not content with the reserve driver role and is determined to secure a permanent seat for the upcoming season.
“I wouldn’t be happy to go back to being reserve. Obviously, I know how hard it is to get into Formula 1 and I understand that that can be really difficult sometimes.
“So obviously, what will happen, will happen, but these things I just haven’t really thought about too much. I’m just trying to make the most of this.”
Lawson’s journey continues as he stands in for Ricciardo in Japan and possibly in Qatar. The anticipation of his future extends beyond AlphaTauri, with rumors swirling that Williams is closely watching the promising talent from New Zealand. If the cards don’t fall in his favor at AlphaTauri, he could find himself on a different grid in 2024.
The 2024 season promises to be a pivotal one for both AlphaTauri and Liam Lawson. As the days count down, the motorsport world awaits the decision that will shape the future of Formula 1.
“There hasn’t been a huge amount of time to discuss the future. On what’s happened so far, it’s been pretty positive.
“But I guess the message for me has just been to keep my head down now and try and keep delivering until obviously things clear up, until this opportunity I have ends when Daniel comes back. It’s basically just doing a good job but keep doing the same thing.
“Obviously, I want to be in Formula 1. Now I have this chance, I’m trying to do everything I can to show that I can be here. But in terms of all those discussions, those will happen after this weekend.”