Daniel Ricciardo casts verdict on Liam Lawson’s stand-in outings at AlphaTauri

Oliver Harden
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo

AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo looks surprised in the 2023 United States Grand Prix press conference.

Daniel Ricciardo has told Liam Lawson that his “time will come” as the Australian returns to F1 action with AlphaTauri at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix. 

Having started the F1 2023 season as Red Bull’s reserve driver, Ricciardo returned to a race seat with AlphaTauri ahead of July’s Hungarian GP.

However, the Australian’s comeback lasted just two complete race weekends before he suffered a broken hand in a practice crash at the Dutch GP, ruling him out of the last five races.

Daniel Ricciardo backs Liam Lawson to find F1 seat

Red Bull junior Liam Lawson excelled in Ricciardo’s place, claiming AlphaTauri’s best result of the season with ninth place in Singapore, but remains without a permanent seat for next season despite his impressive performances, with Ricciardo confirmed as Yuki Tsunoda’s team-mate for 2024 ahead of last month’s Japanese GP.

Asked if he felt Lawson – set to continue in his role as reserve driver for Red Bull and AlphaTauri next season – did a good job in his absence, Ricciardo said: “Yes. One does. He did a very good job.”

Later pressed to expand on his view, the 34-year-old explained: “He did a great job, for sure.

“In terms of him currently not having a seat next year, I think it’s one of those ones where he’s young. I think it’s not like he’s at the end of his career, he’s very much in the early part of his career, so just keep persisting, keep your head down.

“I think he did very well to create an opportunity for himself, so I think if he keeps on that course his time will come. That’s really it.

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“We always feel as drivers and we all obviously believe in ourselves so much that you always feel like you’re ready and [you ask yourself]: why isn’t it happening yet?

“Your career can be very long, I guess. He’s young – he’s 21 or something – so I’m sure he’ll find a way on the grid if he keeps up what he’s been doing.”

Kevin Magnussen, the Haas driver, echoed Ricciardo’s thoughts and backed Lawson to land a full-time drive in the near future, adding: “I don’t know what Liam’s deal is, but certainly he did a good job in those races that he did. So I think [it’s] all to play for for him.”

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