Liam Lawson has been showcasing his talent on the Formula 1 grid as a stand-in at AlphaTauri, but former F1 driver Karun Chandhok believes he would make a good candidate for Williams next season.
Lawson was parachuted into Daniel Ricciardo’s seat at extremely short notice after the Australian broke his hand at Zandvoort, and the 21-year-old New Zealander has performed strongly alongside Yuki Tsunoda since.
While Tsunoda has endured bad luck on his side of the garage, an impressive P11 finish for Lawson at Monza was upgraded to his first ever F1 points in Singapore at the weekend.
Liam Lawson tipped for Williams seat: ‘You’ve got to have the conversation, haven’t you?’
Lawson raised eyebrows by making it through to Q3 on Saturday, knocking out both ‘senior’ Red Bull drivers in doing so and pipping Max Verstappen in the top 10, before converting it into points come Sunday in Formula 1’s most physically demanding race.
These performances have already put Lawson in the conversation for a full-time seat at AlphaTauri next season, with Tsunoda and Ricciardo both vying for a seat too, but with Logan Sargeant under pressure to perform at Williams, ex-F1 driver Chandhok believes Williams should be “shopping around” and considering Lawson for a drive alongside Alex Albon next year.
Williams team principal James Vowles has put pressure on the American rookie to perform if he is to keep his seat next season, with Albon having firmly established himself as team leader at Williams this year.
But with Lawson’s future uncertain and Ricciardo set to return to the cockpit at AlphaTauri once he has recovered from his injuries, Chandhok believes the youngster could be a good fit to partner Albon next year.
“If I was Williams, I would definitely be looking at Liam Lawson,” former Lotus and HRT driver Chandhok said on Sky Sports F1.
“You’ve got to have the conversation, haven’t you? Because, you know, Albon’s out-qualified Sargeant on every occasion, he has had scored all the points so far for Williams.
“If you are Williams, you should be shopping around and Liam Lawson has put himself on the market in a very good way.”
Lawson is widely expected to continue deputising for Ricciardo this weekend at Suzuka, with the Australian still on the recovery trail following his broken metacarpal – though he made a return to the AlphaTauri pit wall in Singapore at the weekend.
But when it comes to next year, the man himself is still unsure about what is coming next.
“I have no idea, honestly,” Lawson told Sky F1 when asked about his 2024 plans.
“It’s tricky to get a full-time seat in this sport. But like I said, rather than looking at all those external things, it’s for me just focusing on every session, trying to maximise each time I’m in the car and try what I can.”