AlphaTauri stand-in driver Liam Lawson has been making the headlines for all the right reasons following a string of impressive results.
Lawson has competed in only three races, deputising for Daniel Ricciardo, and has already scored a couple of points.
While the rumour mills were working on overtime and suggesting that this might be enough for him to secure a full-time seat for the 2024 season, AlphaTauri has gone ahead and stuck with its combination of Yuki Tsunoda and Ricciardo for next year as well.
However, this doesn’t mean that Lawson is completely out of the picture, with suggestions that he could continue as the team’s reserve driver under the pretext of securing a full-time role either at AlphaTauri or Red Bull for the 2025 season.
If this indeed is true, it is bad news for both Sergio Perez and Ricciardo, who both have an eye on ensuring that they race alongside Max Verstappen in 2025.
In a bid to reduce the mounting pressure on both drivers, Red Bull has tried its best to dismiss these rumours.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner spoke about the future of 21-year-old Lawson.
Horner conceded that Lawson has shown that he belongs at the highest level of motorsport, but claimed that there are “no guarantees” in life.
“There is no guarantees of anything in life. We’ll keep developing him when he goes back into that test and reserve role, and he’ll be a candidate certainly for 2025,“ Horner said.
This will do little to ease the pressure that has been mounting on Perez for a while now.
Checo has been highly inconsistent this season and for all of Red Bull’s supremacy on the track, he has just over half of leader Max Verstappen’s tally this season.
With Ricciardo known to be a good friend of Verstappen, there is an added incentive of pairing both drivers up once again to eliminate the chances of animosity between the leading team’s driver partnership.
Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko understands the fact that both Ricciardo and Perez are on the wrong side of their 30s and has reportedly also organised a meeting with both drivers individually to understand how long they plan to continue racing in F1.
Marko has a close eye on the future, with Red Bull’s present seeming more than comfortable.
For Lawson, though, there is a chance that his patience could be tested before he gets a full-time seat at either of Red Bull’s teams.
It will remain up to him to see whether he wants to wait for his chance to race alongside Verstappen or try his luck elsewhere after getting an early taste of life as an F1 driver.