Liam Lawson told to ‘keep his phone charged’ with brutal Daniel Ricciardo verdict delivered

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson with the RB badge

Could Daniel Ricciardo lose his RB seat to Liam Lawson?

As the TV cameras in Japan panned to Liam Lawson standing behind Daniel Ricciardo during the red flag the Aussie caused when he crashed, Tom Coronel reckons the reserve driver must’ve been thinking “yes, yes!”

Last year, on the eve of his final substitute race with Red Bull’s junior team, Lawson was informed he would remain a reserve driver for this year’s championship.

Daniel Ricciardo has ‘had his time’, says Tom Coronel

RB, as the team is now known, would instead continue with Ricciardo as Yuki Tsunoda’s 2024 team-mate.

But what was once billed as a Red Bull audition for the Honey Badger has since become a fight to hold onto his seat with the junior team, such has been his disappointing start to the season.

Out-qualified by Tsunoda 4-0 and out-scored 7-0, Ricciardo’s hopes of bouncing back in Japan were undone when he crashed on the opening lap.

Hard into the barriers along with Alex Albon, the race was red-flagged as the track marshals repaired the tyre barrier.

That delivered arguably one of the more iconic moments of the season as an F1 cameraman focused in on an unhappy Ricciardo staring at the screens with the RB team only to pan out and catch Lawson watching it all from a few metres away.

Dutch pundit Coronel appreciated the moment.

“Lawson was standing behind it looking like, ‘Yes, yes!” he told Viaplay with a laugh. “If I were him, I’d have my phone charged all the time.”

He urged Red Bull to drop Ricciardo, saying the 34-year-old has had his time and Lawson now deserves the opportunity.

“Please give the opportunity to someone else. He has had his time,” he rather brutally added.

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‘Goodwill factor’ saving Daniel Ricciardo’s seat, for now

Even before his lap 1 crash, Ricciardo found himself second best to Tsunoda in qualifying where the Japanese driver was the one to keep him out of the Q3 shoot-out.

F1maximaal’s Mark Hanselman believes only the “goodwill factor” with Red Bull is keeping Ricciardo in the seat.

“The start mainly showed Daniel Ricciardo’s lack of self-confidence. The Australian relies on his self-confidence, but is now suffering from the fact that Yuki Tsunoda is regularly underestimated,” he said.

“Ricciardo probably also thought too easily about beating the Japanese driver, and it is clear that his self-confidence has taken a big hit.”

He added: “Qualifying went better than before, but if he didn’t have the goodwill factor, the death warrant would have already been signed.”

But while it was claimed earlier this season that Ricciardo had two races to save his RB seat or else Lawson would be in the car come Miami, this was denied by the Kiwi’s team.

They told PlanetF1.com that there was no talk of Lawson replacing Ricciardo but that he remains hopeful that an opportunity for a full-time seat does become available.

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