Liam Lawson ‘absolutely’ ready as clear Red Bull warning sent to struggling Daniel Ricciardo

Oliver Harden
A two-way split image of Liam Lawson and Daniel Ricciardo

Could Liam Lawson replace Daniel Ricciardo during the 2024 season if the Australian's performances do not improve?

Liam Lawson has declared he is “absolutely” ready to replace Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull’s junior team, claiming the Australian is now “expected to step it up” after a poor start to the F1 2024 season.

Having entered the new season with ambitions of replacing out-of-contract Sergio Perez at Red Bull for 2025, Ricciardo finds himself under pressure after two underwhelming performances in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Liam Lawson ‘absolutely’ ready to replace Daniel Ricciardo

Having been convincingly outqualified by RB team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in Saudi Arabia, Ricciardo endured a torrid race where he suffered a disastrous 41-second pit stop before spinning at Turn 1 en route to 16th place.

Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko commented in the aftermath of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that Ricciardo “has to come up with something soon” in what was widely regarded as a clear warning to the 34-year-old.

Red Bull reserve driver Lawson excelled in a five-race cameo when Ricciardo was ruled out with a broken hand after the 2023 summer break, but was unable to force his way into the RB team’s plans for 2024. recommends

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Speaking ahead of Ricciardo’s home race in Melbourne this weekend, however, Lawson has declared he is ready and waiting to step up if Ricciardo continues to struggle.

Asked by Fox Sports if he is ready to replace Ricciardo, he said: “Absolutely.

“I think Daniel knows that the potential is there, but I’m sure he’s probably expected to step it up.”

Although a number of young drivers are coming through the ranks – including Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Oliver Bearman, the Ferrari Academy star who scored points while deputising for the unwell Carlos Sainz in Jeddah – 2024 is the first season in F1 history without a rookie driver.

Lawson believes it is “very tough” for young drivers to earn an opportunity right now, but is determined to earn a permanent seat in F1 at the earliest available opportunity.

He explained: “Obviously this year it’s the first in a while where everything is exactly the same. It makes it very tough to get a seat when there’s multiple guys. I feel like I’m ready but there’s a lot of other guys there also.

“Ultimately my goal is to get back in that seat as soon as possible.”

Having been heavily linked with Williams in the closing months of last season, Lawson teased that he could seek opportunities away from the Red Bull setup if he is not promoted to RB soon.

“Red Bull is pretty cut-throat,” he added. “I would love to drive for them, but ultimately I want to be in F1 regardless.”

Lawson’s latest comments come after the new series of Drive to Survive, Netflix’s widely acclaimed F1 docuseries, revealed his true reaction to being denied a permanent F1 seat for 2024.

After being informed of the news by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, Lawson was captured aiming a dig at Tsuonda, whom he had comfortably outperformed at the Singapore Grand Prix.

“I’ve just beaten the guy who got the seat,” Lawson says. “It was meant to be me.”

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