After the first practice session of the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri’s trackside engineer, opened up about Liam Lawson’s commendable performance in the F1 circuit. Eddolls’ insights intensify the ongoing speculation about Lawson’s potential permanent position in Formula One.
Rapid Acclimatization: Liam Lawson demonstrated remarkable composure and adaptability, especially when faced with the unpredictable conditions of the Dutch Grand Prix. His ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances on the track has caught the attention of Formula 1 enthusiasts worldwide.
Constructive Feedback: Lawson’s deep understanding of the car and its dynamics is evident through his valuable feedback. This attention to detail not only benefits him but also contributes to the team’s overall performance, making him an asset to AlphaTauri.
Team’s Confidence: Lawson’s consistent and impressive performances, especially during qualifying sessions, have garnered significant admiration from the AlphaTauri team. His ability to deliver under pressure has boosted the team’s confidence in his capabilities.
Liam Lawson, the New Zealander stepping in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, has been a revelation for AlphaTauri. His recent achievements, including securing points at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, have been noteworthy, especially given the team’s challenges this season.
Discussing Lawson’s performance so far this season, Eddolls remarked:
“I think probably how level-headed he is. How solid he’s been and how he’s not let the pressure get to him – because it’s obviously a big jump for him. I think, stepping in on the Friday night in Netherlands, when it was forecast rain, the next day, was a bit of a shock to him. But he quickly got over that, got up to speed with the car, the tyres, difficult race, difficult conditions.”
“But I think the thing that’s most impressed me is how solid he is. In qualifying, he’s just chipping away, building it up step-by-step. We focus on like a weekend plan, aiming for that lap in qualifying. And I think Singapore, another difficult track, he’d not been there before, we used the three sets in Q1, just to ensure that he got there. And then he did a solid Q2.”
“And I think the other point in the race he was keeping some fast cars at bay. And you felt confident that he could do that for a while. So yeah, I think the whole team has been very impressed with him.”
“With Lawson’s ascent, questions about Yuki Tsunoda’s future with AlphaTauri have intensified. As the Japanese driver’s contract nears its end and with Ricciardo’s impending return, the paddock is questioning the Japanese driver’s future. Lawson’s performances, juxtaposed with Tsunoda’s, seem to favor the former.”
Before the Singapore Grand Prix, Lawson expressed his ambitions, emphasizing his desire for a permanent F1 seat. This determination, combined with Eddolls’ glowing endorsement, suggests Lawson is well-poised for a regular role in the forthcoming seasons.
AlphaTauri’s impending decision is eagerly anticipated. Balancing the raw potential of Lawson, the reliability of Tsunoda, and the seasoned prowess of Ricciardo will be a pivotal moment for the team’s 2024 lineup.
On being asked which direction the team is currently thinking, he teased an upcoming reveal:
“Yeah, it makes it a tough one. Yeah. Well, I think nothing is official yet on what’s going to happen for next year. But I think probably there’ll be an announcement at some stage.”