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Lawson remains with Red Bull for 2024

The New Zealander has dazzled in the AT04 in his three races so far, deputising for the injured Daniel Ricciardo

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Red Bull have all but confirmed that Formula 1 rookie Liam Lawson will stay in the Red Bull family next year.

Lawson scored his first points at the Singapore Grand Prix, finishing in ninth place (Image Credit: @AlphaTauriF1 on X)

The New Zealander was drafted in from the Dutch Grand Prix onwards following Daniel Ricciardo’s crash in FP2, which broke the latter’s wrist. He has since impressed for Scuderia AlphaTauri, so far culminating in a P9 finish at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Lawson’s performances for Red Bull Racing’s sister team seem to have caught the eye of the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s Team Principal Christian Horner. The F1 boss appears very keen to keep the 21-year-old in the Red Bull family for 2024 and beyond.

Speaking during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Horner revealed that Lawson would likely stay in the Red Bull circle, even if it means he won’t have a seat for next year. He stated: “He’s in the Red Bull family… But I think if he’s not sitting in a Grand Prix car next year, then he is going to have plenty on his plate with other stuff to do.”

“I think he’s grabbed this opportunity in F1, and it’s very seldom drivers get a chance to demonstrate their talent. I think he’s done a tremendous job and certainly has put himself firmly on the radar, and cemented the feeling that we had about him.”

Horner believes that AlphaTauri have an unusual dilemma in that they have three drivers vying for only two seats. Inevitably one worthy driver will miss out and for 2024 this could very well be Lawson.

This is after rumblings in the paddock suggesting that AlphaTauri will announce a contract extension for Yuki Tsunoda at the Japanese Grand Prix.

He continued: “Obviously it is an AlphaTauri issue, but there’s three great drivers and it’s a nice headache to have.”

“Whether he [Lawson] has to wait a little for that or not, then I think he’s demonstrating that he is a talent for the future.”

Ricciardo’s injury and what Lawson wants

Whatever happens, Lawson could very well be racing in the AlphaTauri seat for a few more races to come.

Ricciardo’s wrist is taking a little longer than expected to recover, and it looks unlikely that the “Honey Badger” will return for the Qatar Grand Prix that he was projected for.

While the Australian had a successful surgery soon after his unfortunate shunt, AlphaTauri’s Head of Trackside Engineering Jonathan Eddolls believes he won’t be fit enough when the paddock arrives in Qatar.

He said: “He’s still going through that recovery phase. We’re still talking a while away, so we wouldn’t want to put a target on it. The recovery is going well.”

Going back to Lawson, the Kiwi may not be happy with a reserve driver role for Red Bull and/or AlphaTauri.

When talking to media before the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Lawson didn’t hold back on his opinion, saying: “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 can be really, really difficult sometimes. So obviously, what will happen will happen. I haven’t really thought about it too much, I’m just trying to make the most of this.”

The only seat that could become available for the New Zealander is for Williams. With Logan Sargeant struggling compared to teammate Alexander Albon, could the British team nab the rookie from under Red Bull’s noses for a full-time 2024 seat?

Feature Image Credit: XPB Images

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