Lawson knew 2024 F1 fate before Japanese GP weekend
By Mat Coch
Sunday 24th September, 2023 - 9:00am
Liam Lawson has revealed he knew he would not be racing in F1 in 2024 before the sport reached Suzuka for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Yesterday, Scuderia AlphaTauri confirmed Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda will remain with the team for the next season.
Lawson had forced himself into consideration for a drive courtesy of three impressive performances since deputising for Ricciardo at the Dutch Grand Prix.
However, with only two seats available, the New Zealander ultimately missed out on landing a full-time berth and will instead return to his role as reserve driver for Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri.
“I’m a Red Bull driver. All the Red Bull seats are filled and unfortunately for me that means that, for now, I’ll be reserve driver.”
While the announcement of Ricciardo and Tsunoda was made on Saturday in Suzuka, it’s believed the former has had a deal locked away for some time.
Similarly, speculation that Tsunoda would be retained has swirled for some time.
That marries with Lawson admitted he knew his fate “before this grand prix.”
The 22-year-old has quickly become a popular member of the paddock.
Though he’s been on the fringes for some time, he’s been thrust into the spotlight over the past month.
There, he’s risen to the occasion and received plaudits from all corners.
“The support has been amazing,” Lawson admitted.
“It’s great to see the support from everybody from New Zealand, from everywhere around the world to be honest. It’s been it’s been amazing.
“I’ve got my head down at the moment trying to make the most of these races.
“Ultimately obviously my goal is to be in Formula 1 so I’ll try and do what I can to achieve that in the future.
“One of the positives about being a Red Bull driver is, for me having five years in this programme, it’s a high-pressure programme,” he added.
“We’re put under pressure from day one, and I’m now used to that.
“It’s been five years of that, so situations like this, I’m almost… I’m ready for them.”