Christian Horner believes it’s “unlikely” that Liam Lawson will head to Williams next season to replace the struggling Logan Sargeant.
AlphaTauri confirmed Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda will drive for the team next season with Lawson as reserve driver, though the young New Zealander has impressed with his stand-in performances in Ricciardo’s injury-enforced absence, taking his first F1 points in Singapore last time out.
He has performed to a degree that had put him in the conversation about whether he deserved a full-time drive at AlphaTauri next season, but the team opted for their known quantities in 2024.
Christian Horner addresses Liam Lawson to Williams rumours
Pundits such as Karun Chandhok believe Williams, now the only team with an uncontracted seat available for next year, would be a good fit for Lawson, given the problems Sargeant has had to match Alex Albon at the team this year.
And when asked directly if a full-time drive at Williams could be on offer for Lawson next season, the Red Bull team principal seemed unconvinced at this moment in time.
“I think there’s only one seat available in Formula 1 at the moment and that seems to be the Williams seat, and it’d be unlikely they take a driver for one year,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 in Japan.
“So he’s going to focus on that test and reserve role and as do much running as he can in the background, in the simulator.
“And you know, we’ve seen what he’s capable of. He’s got the opportunity this weekend, it’s 50/50 regarding Qatar at the moment.
“So he’s done the right thing, he’s grabbed that opportunity and I said to him yesterday, you’ve done everything and more that you could have.”
With the confirmation of AlphaTauri’s line-up is the official confirmation that Sergio Perez will also keep his Red Bull seat in 2024, as Horner has reiterated on multiple occasions.
When asked about the choice to opt for Ricciardo and Tsunoda instead of Lawson, the Red Bull team boss explained that the youngster is more than likely to get a chance to compete in Formula 1 in the future.
“All of those drivers are Red Bull racing drivers effectively placed at AlphaTauri,” Horner clarified.
“I think Daniel with his experience, his motivation to come back, I think he’ll add great leadership to that team and, I think, a great benchmark.
“Yuki has been making progress and I think that having Daniel there as that benchmark, he’ll certainly learn from that.
“I think Liam, it’s only a matter of time before he gets his opportunity and full-time chance. I think to have the three of them there is very strong for the group.”