Oct.6 (GMM) Liam Lawson will be a full-time Formula 1 racer “by 2025 at the latest”.
That is the news from Red Bull’s notorious driver program czar Dr Helmut Marko, after New Zealand rookie Lawson admitted that being left out of Alpha Tauri’s race lineup for 2024 was “disappointing”.
For now, he will get at least one more outing in Qatar before the injured Daniel Ricciardo is expected to return two weeks later in Austin.
Lawson, 21, said Ricciardo FaceTimed him personally with the news.
“It was just Daniel’s face and he basically said that he thought he’d let me have another weekend,” he smiled on Thursday.
“Obviously I want to be here full-time but I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
After Austin, F1 heads to Mexico – but by then Lawson will be back in his Super Formula car at Suzuka for the Japanese category’s final round.
As for 2024, he will attend every grand prix at least as the reserve driver for Red Bull’s two F1 teams.
“Right now I think it’s being discussed and planned out but for me, it’s reserve at this stage,” said Lawson. “So I’ll carry on going to all the Formula 1 races but outside of that, it’ll be normal simulator work.
“Other than that, I’m honestly not sure right now.”
Lawson has been casually linked with the final official vacancy on next year’s grid – at Williams – and he answered “I don’t know” when asked if he is really in the running to be loaned to the British team.
But even if that doesn’t happen, Marko reassures Lawson that his time is coming.
“Lawson definitely has the potential to be a grand prix winner,” the 80-year-old Austrian told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.
“He has mastered all the tasks so far masterfully and under the most difficult conditions. He was thrown into the cold rain in the truest sense of the word.
“He’s a tough racer and one of the strongest ever in a duel. He has a big task with the role of reserve driver next year and he’s already in a Formula 1 car anyway, but he’ll be there (on the grid) by 2025 at the latest,” Marko added.