Informed before the Japanese Grand Prix weekend that he hadn’t secured an AlphaTauri seat for next season, Liam Lawson says he’ll do his reserve driver stint and then “start looking at what options there are”.
Lawson is the third driver to partner Yuki Tsunoda this season, the Kiwi stepping in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo who in turn had replaced the ousted Nyck de Vries.
But while Lawson did what the other two could not, score points with a P9 finish at the Singapore Grand Prix, the team announced on Saturday that he would remain a reserve driver for the 2024 championship.
Liam Lawson: Unfortunately for me that means for now I’ll be a reserve driver
AlphaTauri instead opted to continue with Tsunoda for a fourth season, teaming the Japanese driver up with the experienced Ricciardo, who’s expected to be back in the car at the United States Grand Prix.
As such Lawson is just appreciating this opportunity while he still has, the 21-year-old revealing he knew before the Suzuka weekend that he’ll be a reserve driver for next season.
But come 2025, he’ll look at “what options there are” for a race seat.
“One of the positives about being a Red Bull driver is, for me having five years in this program, it’s a high-pressure program,” he said as per Racer.
“We’re put under pressure from day one and I’m now used to that.
“I’m a Red Bull driver, all the Red Bull seats are filled and unfortunately for me that means for now I’ll be a reserve driver.
“Once this stint that I have is over then I can start looking at what options there are (for 2025), but right now it’s focused on these races.”
Christian Horner hints at 2025 plans for Lawson
Sky Sports technical analyst Bernie Collins has urged the Kiwi to get his name onto “someone else’s wish list” for next season with Williams potentially needing a replacement for Logan Sargeant.
However, Christian Horner has all but implied Red Bull won’t release the driver long-term as they have plans for him come 2025.
“I think there’s only one seat available in Formula 1 at the moment and that seems to be the Williams seat, and it’d be unlikely they take a driver for one year,” the team boss told Sky Sports F1 in Japan.
“So he’s going to focus on that test and reserve role and as do much running as he can in the background, in the simulator. And you know, we’ve seen what he’s capable of.
“So he’s done the right thing, he’s grabbed that opportunity and I said to him, you’ve done everything and more that you could have.”