Liam Lawson has stated he will not be able to “settle” for anything less than a full-time F1 seat after being thrown in at the deep end at AlphaTauri.
Following an injury to Daniel Ricciardo, Lawson made his debut after just one practice session and although he has yet to score a point in his two races, he has already looked like an F1-quality driver.
With neither of the AlphaTauri seats confirmed for next year, Lawson has thrown his hat in the ring by suggesting he would find it hard to “settle” for anything less than a full-time seat.
Liam Lawson confirms interest in retaining F1 seat for 2024
The Singapore Grand Prix weekend was kick-started with confirmation that Zhou Gunayu would be joining Valtteri Bottas in the Sauber car next season meaning there are now just three seats left to decide, two of which are at AlphaTauri.
The three contenders are Yuki Tsunoda, who has been with the team since 2021, veteran Ricciardo and rookie Lawson who is just two races into his F1 career.
At the age of 21, Lawson is the youngest member of the F1 paddock but having had a taste, he is unwilling to return to another series.
“Right now, it’s race-by-race, and basically we see in the future,” the 21-year-old said. “I think I’ll prepare for the next races like normal, but it’s race-by-race.
“I think now that… I’d say now that I’ve had a taste, it’s definitely something I’ve fallen in love with and I don’t think I can settle for anything less.”
He is not the only one gunning for that seat and AlphaTauri boss Peter Bayer suggested to PlanetF1.com that they would look to combine youth with experience.
“My belief is that… obviously, we cannot only develop young drivers – we also have to be competitive,” he said.
“I think, to be competitive nowadays, you need… in order to fulfil both cars, you need to have one experienced driver and one young one. That’s really what I’m trying to achieve, you know, to have an experienced one and a young one.
“Because then the young one will learn more from the experienced one, the experienced one will help us and, for example, Daniel helped us tremendously on setting up the car.
“So whilst we give feedback to a young driver, the experienced one gives us feedback, and I’m convinced you need to have those two.”