Sep.18 - Liam Lawson will definitely keep filling in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo at Suzuka this weekend.

Since filling in for AlphaTauri at the last moment from Zandvoort following Ricciardo's crash and broken hand there, the 21-year-old New Zealander has seriously impressed.

He has already caught up with team regular Yuki Tsunoda's points haul for the season and is tipped to be competitive at Suzuka this weekend - a circuit he knows well as he races full-time in the Super Formula series.

But when asked about the Japanese GP, Lawson said in Singapore: "I don't know if I'll drive there yet.

"It would be nice, as I know the track much better than here. It should be so good there with a Formula 1 car."

However, he said the decision and Ricciardo's recovery is out of his hands - as is AlphaTauri and Red Bull's deliberations over his next move for 2024.

"There are so many aspects to it," said Lawson. "If I try to think about everything at once, I can easily put too much pressure on myself.

"I don't know how long I'll be here, so I just focus on doing everything I can when I am in the car.

"I've been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and I finally got it, so I'm trying to take full advantage of it."

New AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer said in Singapore that driver talks about 2024 are in "full swing", and Lawson said he regularly catches up with Dr Helmut Marko.

"After every race I talk to Helmut," he said, "and I have no doubt that after this one we'll talk again. But to be honest, I can't say anything about next year yet."

According to insiders, both Japanese Yuki Tsunoda and Ricciardo should be worried about the new 'Lawson factor' when thinking about their 2024 seats.

"Ricciardo is watching someone score points in his car in their third race," former F1 driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport.

"That's bound to eat at you. I think it's obvious that Lawson will be offered a permanent seat next year."

As for this weekend's Japanese GP, meanwhile, CEO Bayer has some very good news for Lawson.

"Daniel is flying on to Australia now for his physiotherapy and will support us morally, but he will not be there (at Suzuka) live," he told Servus TV.

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10 F1 Fan comments on “Lawson's Suzuka Stand-In Stint: The Rise of a Kiwi Sensation

    • ReallyOldRacer

      Spot on, Jere. And you had it right from the beginning re the timing of RIC's return. A RIC/LAW combo at the B team would be great. Give RIC a chance to prove his mettle (if he can), and LAW a chance to develop his obvious talent. Honestly, TSU has had his day in the sun.

        • ReallyOldRacer

          Hard to say how much juice Honda still has with RB. BTW, I was surprised to see that you thought Singapore was ho-hum. IMO, a very entertaining race. MB's strategy call was spot on & gave their guys a chance. Shame on your boy George.

          • shroppyfly

            Well i supposeee, those were my first thoughts, strategy spot on yes,, it was a bit of fast follow the leader for a lot of it , anyway , Suzuka will be different, Ah the exuberance of youth, but it shouldn't have happened that close to the end, King G played a blinder in Quali

      • smokey

        Suzuka could be make or break for Yuki.
        He as a native Japanese driver against Liam who has been racing in Japan and knows the Suzuka layout.
        I will be intrigued to see who gets the upper hand and better result, as the cars are seen as being identical. More points for Lawson?

  1. Tommy

    This kid is one very talented Driver! Guaranteed to be part of the RB AT team next year unless some other team snipes him. Hes proven his talent and RB needs to make sure they retain him and develop him as Max's next teammate.

  2. smokey

    Now there's a good prospect ~ two drivers for AT both from Down Under! That would be a first, if it transpires!
    They are both very talented drivers, so it will surely bring AT further up the results list.
    Let's see what comes out of the wash.


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