Liam Lawson said he understands why he was overlooked for Daniel Ricciardo as the next AlphaTauri driver.
Red Bull opted to replace the underperforming Nyck de Vries with Ricciardo last week, again choosing to look past an academy driver in favour of a more experienced one as they also did with Sergio Perez.
But Lawson’s future at AlphaTauri has not been ruled out entirely. Ricciardo was described as going on “loan” to the Red Bull sister team and for a man who turned down a Haas seat last year, the Australian clearly targets a move up the grid as he enters the final stages of his career.
Lawson meanwhile is at a different stage and that is trying to get any seat at all.
He currently competes in Super Formula and was not surprised to see Red Bull go a different direction.
“To jump in mid-season would have been extremely tough, and in AlphaTauri’s position, they were wanting someone experienced who has been in Formula 1 for a long time. So I understand their decision.
“But this [Super Formula] is what I am focused on. Any shot I have at Formula 1 rides on how I do here. So I have to complete the year in the best way possible, and try to win this championship, which is what will give me the chance.
“I need to make sure I do everything I can to give myself the best opportunity. And then, if it doesn’t happen, I can say there’s nothing more I could have done.”
Lawson went on to state he was not fussy as to which seat he took and after two seasons as a reserve driver, he felt he was ready for a full-time role.
“I just need a seat, and whoever’s seat it is, I don’t really care!” the 21-year-old said.
“I am just focused on this, it’s what [Red Bull] has told me to focus on as well. The expectation is for me to go and win the championship, and then we’ll discuss it.
“I’m the reserve driver this year, by the end of the year I will have been the reserve for nearly two seasons,” said the Kiwi.
“I’m ready for Formula 1, I want a seat. I will focus on doing the best job here so I can get that. And beyond that, it’s out of my control.”