Possible F1 door left open for Liam Lawson: ‘We will see if the opportunity comes’

Sam Cooper
Liam Lawson

Liam Lawson is in the reserve role for RB this season.

RB boss Laurent Mekies has suggested Liam Lawson will get an “opportunity” after being impressed with his performances last year.

Mekies was on gardening leave at the time so watched from home as Lawson filled in for Daniel Ricciardo in a stint that saw the Kiwi score his first F1 points.

Liam Lawson future discussed by RB boss Laurent Mekies

Lawson was right to feel a little hard done by when his time in F1 was brought to an end for now with Ricciardo returning to partner Yuki Tsunoda at RB this season.

But Mekies has said Lawson is one he has been impressed by.

“Liam did impress everyone last year,” he told the Beyond the Grid podcast. “I was watching TV, during the garden leave.

“And in Zandvoort it’s raining, it’s as bad as it gets and he made it.

“That’s the beauty of it. I guess as fans, we love these racing drivers. You put them in the most awkward, difficult positions and they need to perform at that very moment. Bam, they do it and that’s what he did.”

As for his F1 future, Mekies said “we will see if the opportunity comes.”

“We have very talented reserve drivers, we are taking every opportunity to put him in the car. He drove in Imola last month with the 2022 car. He is going to be with us pretty much every weekend and is driving for us in the simulators. We are trying to grow him as much as we can.

“We are conscious that it’s frustrating for a driver not to race. But again, we are trying to be the best platform for him and then we will see if the opportunity comes.”

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As for how much actual driving Lawson would do, Mekies was hesitant to put a number on it.

“I’m not going to give a number because it’s not going to be impressive. We are going to try to put him in the car as often as we can. It’s not a high number. The situation of the team right now is that we don’t have a team dedicated for that. We don’t have the people, we don’t have the equipment and therefore that running is still going to be limited.

“You should not have several seasons without racing, that’s going to hurt. But I think there are many examples where drivers have made the best use of a single season out of the racing.

“Because there is so much to learn outside of the race car and it’s an opportunity to do it without the pressure of jumping in the car. As much as it feels like a lot of effort for small returns, the return is still there so there is still a lot to get.”

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