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Lawson: Red Bull wants me on F1 stand-by in 2024

Liam Lawson says he is relaxed about potentially not having anymore chances to race until his next Formula 1 call-up, as “Red Bull wants me ready at any point”.

Liam Lawson, Reserve Driver, Red Bull Racing

Lawson bowed out of Super Formula after narrowly missing out on the title to Ritomo Miyata in last week’s Suzuka finale, as he made his return to the Japanese series following his five grand prix starts for AlphaTauri in place of an injured Daniel Ricciardo.

Although he made a big impression on the F1 paddock during his time replacing Ricciardo, the New Zealander was passed over for a full-time drive with the team in 2024.

Instead, Lawson is set to be on full-time reserve driver duties for both of Red Bull’s F1 teams, precluding a return to Super Formula action next year.

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Despite not knowing when he will next race, the 21-year-old is trying to see the positives in Red Bull wanting him to be on call in the event of any injury or driver reshuffle.

“Obviously I want to be racing, but the goal is to be in F1,” Lawson told Motorsport.com. “It’s never nice to only be able to watch, but I’ll try and make the most of the opportunity, as I have been doing up until now, to prepare.

“As much as I would like to be racing a car, it’s what Red Bull has decided is the best thing for me right now. They want me to be 100% focused on being ready at any point.”

Lawson’s Team Mugen seat alongside two-time champion Tomoki Nojiri, whom he outscored by half a point, looks set to go to current F2 racer Ayumu Iwasa for 2024.

“I’ll definitely miss racing in Super Formula,” Lawson added. “Especially having not won the title here, it’s something I would have liked to accomplish, but that’s the way it is.”

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04

Lawson reiterated how helpful his Super Formula experience had been in terms of making the most of his F1 cameos, saying he felt it wouldn’t have been possible had he been coming from half-a-season on the sidelines.

“It’s been exactly what Red Bull told me it would be,” Lawson said of racing in Japan. “I knew the car was faster and a step closer to F1, but it’s also things like the size of the team, working with a manufacturer like Honda, and the competitiveness of the racing.

“There are a lot of similarities between what we’re looking at on the car on the simulator in F1 and what we’re doing with this car. That has been a big part of preparing me for F1.

“I definitely wouldn’t have been as ready for F1 as I was if I hadn’t done the first part of the [Super Formula] season and I was just making the step directly from F2.

“If you look at the guys who are making that step, you can tell it’s a big challenge, even for a full season. This championship has bridged the gap.”

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