Lawson will have ‘enough on his plate’ in 2024
By Mat Coch
Friday 29th September, 2023 - 11:27am
Liam Lawson will have “enough on his plate” in 2024 without being loaned out to another Formula 1 team, according to Christian Horner.
The New Zealander was overlooked for a seat next year when Scuderia AlphaTauri last weekend confirmed Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda would continue together.
Lawson has impressed many in his four-race stint with the Faenza squad since being thrust into action midway through the Dutch Grand Prix.
He scored points in the Singapore Grand Prix, delivering Scuderia AlphaTauri its best result of the season, and has thus far not been beaten in a race by Tsunoda.
Despite that, he will remain on the sidelines next season ahead of a likely race berth in 2025.
However, the 2024 grid is not yet finalised, with a drive at Williams alongside Alex Albon yet to be locked away.
While Logan Sargeant is expected to retain that drive, it has previously been put on the market.
Alpine had planned to place Oscar Piastri in that car on a two-year deal ahead of promoting him to the squad’s factory team.
Williams is in need of stability, one of the main reasons why Sargeant remains the favourite for that drive as the drivers are not the limiting factor.
Stability implies more than a single-year deal, which is understood to be all Red Bull is interested in ahead of recalling Lawson to Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2025.
The ambitions of the two operations are at odds, a point Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner noted.
“He’s in the Red Bull family,” he said of Lawson.
“I mean, if there was a seat, I think there’s only one seat left available, we’ve done this in the past when, for example, Carlos Sainz went on loan to the previous Renault team.
“But no, I think if he’s not sitting in a Grand Prix car next year, then he’s going to have plenty on his on his plate with other stuff to do.”
Prior to stepping in to race for Scuderia AlphaTauri, Lawson was reserve driver for both of Red Bull’s F1 operations, with Ricciardo third driver before he was promoted.
Between them, the pair performed simulator duties, demonstration runs, and were on hand at events in case of injury – as was the case in Zandvoort.
By sharing that role, Lawson has been able to compete in Super Formula this season.
However, a full-time reserve driver programme next year would likely preclude such opportunities as, in a 24-race calendar, his focus would be on supporting the F1 programmes.