Lawson keeps options open for Red Bull seat: ‘Getting in next to Verstappen is difficult anyway’

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Lawson keeps options open for Red Bull seat: 'Getting in next to Verstappen is difficult anyway'

After his unexpected Formula 1 debut in 2023, Red Bull Racing reserve driver Liam Lawson is keeping all his options open when it comes to a permanent seat in the premier class of racing. The New Zealander managed to surprise friend and foe with a strong performance during his unexpected debut, although he still hopes that his next opportunity as a Formula 1 driver will be announced.

Lawson quickly became the surprise of 2023: Daniel Ricciardo had just returned after taking over Nyck de Vries’ place at the then AlphaTauri, but the Australian was out again in Zandvoort when he suffered a broken bone. However, Lawson was on standby and was able to step in almost immediately, and with success. The then Red Bull junior delivered a surprisingly good performance, as he crossed the finish line earlier than teammate Yuki Tsunoda in four of the five races and even managed to score points in Singapore.

Lawson only really fears one challenge

However, it did not give the New Zealander a permanent seat for 2024, although Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko assured him that he was at the top of his list for 2025. However, Lawson indicated at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival that he hopes he can get a little more gets time to prepare for his second chance. ‘The thing is that you miss your optimal self-confidence when you get into that car halfway through the season. Ultimately, in most cases your teammate has already had half a season, so you are actually already falling behind.’

Yet Lawson also knows that it is practically impossible to compare all situations, although there is one situation that he is almost certain will be a difficult task. “If I were to get in next to Max Verstappen it would be extremely difficult anyway, I already know that. But other than that it really depends on the situation.” The New Zealander also knows that Verstappen is from a different category, but Lawson is still not afraid of anything or anyone. ‘If I join at the start of the season I might have a little more confidence than if I join halfway through the season, because that all has to do with pressure on my shoulders. But I would grab the opportunity with both hands anyway.’

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