Formula 1 Racing

Lawson’s F1 hopes dwindle as RB are “very happy with drivers” · RaceFans

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri, Singapore, 2023

Liam Lawson’s hoped of making a full-time return to Formula 1 appear to be fading as RB have indicated they are satisfied with their current driver line-up.

The team’s CEO Peter Bayer indicated they are not looking to change their current pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda next year.

Tsunoda has been part of Red Bull’s second team, previously known as AlphaTauri, since 2021. Experienced race-winner Ricciardo joined him at the team this year but Tsunoda has been the team’s leading points-scorer.

Bayer has seen a difference in Tsunoda’s approach outside the car and said his driver has calmed down his often emotional outbursts on the radio.

“I definitely believe he has made a big step forward,” said Bayer. “It’s physical preparation, but it’s also his mental readiness to perform and deliver.

“One example I mentioned the other day: I think he simply understood that every time he would be swearing on the radio, that would cost him a tenth. So he’s got himself under control.

“He’s extremely professional in the work that he’s putting into the feedback with the engineers. And yes, he definitely made a big step up.”

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Bayer said he’s keen to keep Tsunoda in the team’s line-up for next season. “We’re very happy with both of our drivers,” he said. “And honestly, we’re not wasting time with discussing ifs and whens.

Lawson scored points for RB last year, when they competed as AlphaTauri

“We have a very strong line-up. We have a great reserve driver. We have great talent coming through F2, F3. Currently, it’s all about focusing on performance – the focus is more on Aston Martin in front of us than on driver discussions.”

Lawson made his F1 debut last year as a substitute for five races while Ricciardo recovered from an injury. He impressed with ninth place in Singapore, his first points finish, and the team’s best result of the season at the time.

However Lawson is not racing in any category this year. He is working as a reserve driver and conducting a simulator programme for Red Bull and RB.

“Liam is an extremely valuable member to the team,” said Bayer. “He’s with us every weekend, obviously. He’s doing a lot of work in the simulator.

“But as I said before, currently we have two drivers in the cars. We are finding performance with the two. And we really do not discuss the 2025 situation, perhaps because we’re in a luxury…

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