Lawson "wouldn't be happy to go back" to F1 2024 reserve role

AlphaTauri stand-in Liam Lawson has said he "wouldn't be happy to go back" to a Red Bull reserve role ahead of his last chance to claim a 2024 Formula 1 seat.

Liam Lawson, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Lawson was drafted in halfway through the Zandvoort weekend to replace the injured Daniel Ricciardo, substituting for the Australian until this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Following a last-minute call-up in the Netherlands, the New Zealander has gradually made progress and started impressing Red Bull chiefs, with a breakthrough ninth place and a Q3 berth in last weekend's Singapore GP as a standout result.

Lawson's recent form has given Red Bull a choice to make between Lawson, Yuki Tsunoda and Ricciardo for AlphaTauri's two seats next year, although it is thought Tsunoda and Ricciardo are still most likely to stay put.

Speaking ahead of the Suzuka weekend, Lawson admitted he would be disappointed to return to a reserve driver role after getting a taste of an F1 race drive.

"I wouldn't be happy to go back to being reserve, but obviously, I know how hard it is to get into Formula 1," Lawson said.

"And I understand that that can be really difficult sometimes. So obviously, what will happen, will happen, but these things I just haven't really thought about too much. I'm just trying to make the most of this."

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Lawson expects things to start moving after his deputy role is over, as the hectic run of two back-to-back races has left little time for talks.

But with Ricciardo likely to return at the next race in Qatar, Lawson has said all he can now focus on is delivering in Japan.

"To be honest, there hasn't been a huge amount of time to discuss the future," he added.

"On what's happened so far, it's been pretty positive, But I guess the message for me has just been to keep my head down now and try and keep delivering until obviously things clear up, until this opportunity I have ends when Daniel comes back.

"So, it's basically just doing a good job but keep doing the same thing.

"Obviously, I want to be in Formula 1. Now I have this chance, I'm trying to do everything I can to show that I can be here. But in terms of all those discussions, those will happen after this weekend."

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Lawson added that he was satisfied with his own performances given his lack of preparation, but felt there was still more to be extracted out of the AlphaTauri.

"There's just more with more time in the car, but for the nature of the situation, for how I've come into it, I think we've done well," he explained.

"I'm racing guys who have done 11 or 12 races in this season already, so we're definitely playing catch up.

"Every week, I get more comfortable with the car, so hopefully I go into this weekend feeling another step more comfortable.

"Compared to any other car I've driven it takes a lot more time to adjust to Formula 1."

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