Liam Lawson’s audition for a 2024 AlphaTauri race seat will continue at Suzuka with the team’s CEO Peter Bayer telling ServusTV he will stand in for Daniel Ricciardo.
Jettisoned in at AlphaTauri on the Saturday of the Dutch Grand Prix after Ricciardo broke his hand in an FP2 crash, Lawson’s performances have handed Red Bull an abundance of riches when it comes to their 2024 AlphaTauri line-up.
Impressing on debut when he beat Yuki Tsunoda, this past weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix has firmly cemented Lawson as a candidate for a 2024 race seat.
Liam Lawson scored points in only his third race for AlphaTauri
The Kiwi not only qualified his AT04 inside the top ten, P10 to Tsunoda’s 15th place, but a day later he scored two points with his ninth-placed finish.
Scoring points, he did in three races what Nyck de Vries, Tsunoda’s first teammate for this season, could not do in 10.
And according to Bayer, he’ll have another chance to stake his claim on a 2024 seat with the CEO reportedly telling ServusTV he will race at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The Austrian went on to say how impressed he’s been with the 21-year-old.
“We are very happy with the performance. Two points and the best result of the season in his third race ever,” he said. “We’re happy with Liam’s performance, he fought like a lion.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also took note, telling the media in Singapore: “I think he’s done a great job. Obviously, he’s a Red Bull Racing driver on loan to AlphaTauri, as all the drivers are there.
“I think he’s done an impressive job considering the circumstances, he’s been dropped in the car and, at a track that’s very challenging, I think he’s done a great job.”
AlphaTauri 2024 driver decision in ‘the next few days’
Although it is just a matter of time before Ricciardo, recovering from his broken hand, is back in the car, Lawson also has other commitments with the 21-year-old set to return to Super Formula season for a double-header on the last weekend of October.
As for what happens next season, Bayer says AlphaTauri’s driver situation could be decided in the “next few days”.
“The discussions are in full swing,” Bayer told Sky Deutschland when asked about the driver situation. “We see each other every day and try to coordinate.
“Liam has secured a regular place in the group with this performance and we’ll see who will be in the car next year in the next few days.”
He added: “Daniel Ricciardo will definitely be back in his car [this year] as Liam also wants to finish the Japanese Super Formula.”
As for Lawson, he concedes that whatever happens next, that’s up to Red Bull.
“Next year? I don’t know, to be honest,” he said.
“That’s not something I’m focusing on. I’m focusing on maximising every session. When this stint [of substitutes] is over, I’ll look back on it and hopefully, I’ll feel like I’ve done everything I could do.
“But it is up to them [Red Bull bosses] to decide that and not up to me.”
According to reports, AlphaTauri could decide to put Lawson in the car alongside Ricciardo with Tsunoda filling the role of Red Bull reserve.