Liam Lawson quizzed on AlphaTauri rumours after Super Formula win
Liam Lawson says he is not thinking of an F1 seat despite being linked as a candidate to replace Nyck de Vries.
Lawson boosted his chances of replacing the faltering AlphaTauri driver after he secured his second win of the Super Formula season on Sunday to move top of the standings.
The 21-year-old has impressed this season and is said to be one of two potential candidates to replace De Vries should Red Bull decide to make a change.
If De Vries were to be let go, it would be the earliest sacking in Red Bull’s sister team’s history with Brendon Hartley’s 25 races currently being the lowest tally of a driver who did not make the jump up to Red Bull.
Lawson, though, has said he remains focused on his Super Formula campaign and believes a strong year will give him “the best opportunity” for 2024.
“It’s good timing in the sense it puts me in the lead of the championship, and that’s what I am thinking about at the moment,” he told Autosport.
“I want to finish the year and fight for the championship, and that will give me the best opportunity for next year.
“In terms of what’s happening [in F1]… it’s completely outside of my control. I am just happy to win today.”
Despite not starting from pole at Autopolis and with his team-mate Tomoki Nojiri absent due to a collapsed lung, Lawson was able to recover to win the race and move ahead of Ritomo Miyata in the 2023 standings.
His Team Mugen are already well ahead in the Constructors’ standings, enjoying a 42-point lead over second place TOM’S Racing.
Red Bull junior keeps pressure on Nyck de Vries with timely win
Helmut Marko rules out Daniel Ricciardo with Nyck de Vries on AlphaTauri ‘yellow card’
Earlier this month, Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko, who oversees the academy, linked Lawson with the seat by suggesting they would not plump for Daniel Ricciardo but instead focus on youth.
“If the worst came to the worst, we would fall back on our pool of young talent,” said Marko. “We are talking specifically about Liam Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa. Ricciardo is not an issue.”
Makro had previously stated De Vries has three races to save his AlphaTauri career but given the cancellation of Imola it remains to be seen whether that number has shrunk to two or the Dutchman will instead be given until the Canadian Grand Prix to prove his worth.
Lawson is the second-longest serving member of Red Bull’s junior team with only Dennis Hauger having joined before him.
He also has F1 experience having completed FP1 for AlphaTauri at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix and Mexican Grand Prix as well FP1 for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi.