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Liam Lawson

Marko: AlphaTauri ‘lucky’ to have found ‘great replacement’ Lawson

The New Zealander has been racing for the team in place of the injured Daniel Ricciardo

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Helmut Marko has admitted that AlphaTauri were ‘lucky’ to have found Liam Lawson as a replacement for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.

Liam Lawson
Liam Lawson on track in the AlphaTauri (Credit: X @AlphaTauriF1)

The Kiwi, Liam Lawson, has been behind the wheel of the AlphaTauri for the past two races in Zandvoort and Monza whilst Daniel Ricciardo recovers from a broken bone in his left hand. Ricciardo crashed during FP2 at Zandvoort and has been forced to miss multiple races to recover.

Lawson had been racing in the Japanese Super Formula Series before being called to replace the Australian. Despite Ricciardo looking to return as soon as possible, it’s likely that Lawson will continue behind the wheel for at least two more races.

Speaking on Ricciardo’s injury and Lawson as a replacement, Helmut Marko told ServusTV:

“Unfortunately, it’s a fairly complicated fracture. The assumption is six weeks, and we don’t want to take any risks with that.

“Luckily we have found a great replacement in Liam Lawson.

“I expect him [Ricciardo] to be able to race again in Qatar at the earliest. Singapore and Suzuka are especially two races that are the most difficult for the hand.”

Ricciardo’s injury has allowed Lawson to step in and show everyone in the Red Bull setup what he is capable of behind the wheel of an F1 car. And after a trial by fire in Zandvoort in his first race, the New Zealander came home in 11th place in Monza narrowly missing out on his first point.

“Lawson has been with us for some time and he is a true New Zealander, just like Denny Hulme and Bruce McLaren,” added Marko.

“He really is a man for the future. He could have won points (at Monza) if his strategy had been good at AlphaTauri. We unfortunately have to note that.

“He certainly had the speed, and he really is someone for the future.”

A full-time seat to come?

Having impressed in his limited appearances so far, the next goal for Lawson will be to secure himself a full-time seat for the 2024 season. Nyck de Vries was favoured by AlphaTauri to start the season, but with the Dutchman failing to impress, the door has been left open.

“Whether he will be in a car [full-time] or be a reserve driver? As we have already seen, things can move quickly, and we only have four seats.

“He has shown that he is good enough for Formula 1, and now he has to confirm that in the coming races,” added Marko.

A seat could be up for grabs with AlphaTauri, although Ricciardo remains a front-runner for that place. There are also question marks over the future of Sergio Perez in the Red Bull senior team, something Lawson could have his eye on.

It is unlikely they would go for someone with so little F1 experience. However, stranger things have happened when it comes to the driver line-up at Red Bull.

Feature Image Credit: @RBR_Daily via Twitter.

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