Liam Lawson finding no satisfaction in beating Yuki Tsunoda after losing 2024 AT seat

Michelle Foster
AlphaTauri's Liam Lawson

Liam Lawson is currently 19th in the standings, two points ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant.

Liam Lawson was finding it difficult to be happy about beating Yuki Tsunoda at the Japanese GP, especially as it’s the latter who has the 2024 AlphaTauri race seat with the Kiwi only signed as a reserve.

Thrown in the deep end at AlphaTauri when he was called up to replace the injured Daniel Ricciardo on the Saturday of the Dutch Grand Prix, Lawson finished P13 to Tsunoda’s 15th.

With Tsunoda not making the start in Italy and then booted into retirement on the opening lap in Singapore, a race where Lawson recorded the team’s best result of the championship of P9, it wasn’t until Japan that they again went head-to-head in a race.

A hollow victory for Liam Lawson in Japan

Lawson won that tussle as he raced his way to 11th place, matching his grid position, while Tsunoda lost three places to fall from ninth to 12th.

Lawson, though, took no comfort from it given just one day prior Red Bull had confirmed he won’t have a 2024 race seat.

Instead, the team opted to continue with Tsunoda at AlphaTauri with Daniel Ricciardo named as his team-mate.

“Not satisfaction,” he said as per after the race. “I want to be in a seat and I don’t have one right now.

“It’s basically just doing the best job I can each time I get into the car. I’ll keep doing that for as long as I’m driving.”

The 21-year-old was left to rue a lack of pace that meant he wasn’t able put in a repeat of his Singapore points-scoring antics.

“We didn’t quite have the speed,” he said. “To be honest, the only guys that we were really racing were the Alpines and they were too quick.

“It meant that we were just outside the points, unfortunately. I feel like we pretty much maximised [what we could].” recommends

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What comes next for Liam Lawson?

Although Lawson has been confirmed as the 2024 AlphaTauri and Red Bull Racing reserve driver, there are rumours he could yet replace the under-fire Logan Sargeant at Williams.

For now, though, the Kiwi doesn’t even know if he’ll be in the AT04 come the next race on the calendar in Qatar.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the AlphaTauri announcement, Lawson said he has “no idea” what the future holds.

“However long this lasts,” he added, “I want to get to the end of it and look back and know that I did absolutely everything I could.

“I would hate to look back and think that there’s something more I could have done or I put too much pressure on myself or did something that affected it.”

“I want a seat in Formula 1 and where that would be, my journey has been with Red Bull for the last five years, and right now that’s where I’m looking to, all I’ve ever looked at joining is with Red Bull, so right now that’s still where I’m trying to achieve.”

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