Helmut Marko delivers significant update on Liam Lawson’s F1 future

Thomas Maher
AlphaTauri's Liam Lawson pictured during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

AlphaTauri's Liam Lawson pictured during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

Liam Lawson may be facing a year on the sidelines in 2024, but Red Bull’s Helmut Marko has given him some assurances…

Having had his hopes raised of a 2024 F1 race seat off the back of some very strong performances as a substitute for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, Lawson has put pen to paper to serve as Red Bull and AlphaTauri’s reserve driver next season.

With Lawson at the wheel of the AlphaTauri AT04 once again this weekend in Qatar for what is likely his last appearance of the year, the Kiwi driver has earned the praise of the notoriously difficult-to-impress Helmut Marko.

Helmut Marko: Liam Lawson ‘one of the strongest drivers ever’

With Lawson having had a very solid debut in Zandvoort, despite a lack of practice time, he improved to finish just outside the points at Monza before claiming ninth place and his maiden F1 points in just his third race – no mean feat on the streets of Singapore in what is widely regarded as one of F1’s toughest races.

Speaking withAustrian publication Kleine Zeitung, Marko was full of praise for the young charge, even if Lawson hasn’t quite yet been given the nod for a full-time seat.

“Lawson certainly has the potential to be a GP winner, as he has mastered all the tasks so far and under the most difficult conditions,” the 80year-old said.

“He was literally thrown into the cold rain [at Zandvoort].

“He is a tough racer and one of the strongest drivers ever in a duel.

“With the role as reserve driver, he has a big task next year.”

有趣的是,马可在他选择明确的of words as he said: “But by 2025 at the latest, he will be in a Formula 1 car anyway.”

Which car? Which team? Marko wouldn’t say…

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With Lawson having been overlooked for a 2024 seat at AlphaTauri stuck with Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo, the Kiwi knows that securing the Super Formula title will be the perfect way to sign off on a very strong end to 2023 – a task he has set himself when he returns to Japan and his Super Formula duties once Ricciardo is back in the AlphaTauri.

“Obviously, my goal is to be in Formula 1 full-time, so as much as it’s disappointing, it’s still my goal,” Lawson said.

“It’s now about trying to make sure that I can make that happen in the future.

“Right now, I’ve still got this opportunity to keep trying to show something, and I’ll try to make the most of it.

“现在,只要这一刻,我将关注它,and then once I step back from F1, it’ll be full focus on preparing for the final round of the Super Formula championship at Suzuka on the weekend of the Mexican Grand Prix.

“It’ll be very different adjusting back to the car, but it’s certainly been useful having driven so many laps at Suzuka throughout the Grand Prix weekend.”

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