Liam Lawson has acknowledged that it "made sense" for AlphaTauri to choose Daniel Ricciardo to replace Nyck de Vries earlier in 2023.
Following the British Grand Prix, the Red Bull sister squad announced that it had parted ways with de Vries, who struggled for form during the 10 races of the season.
Ricciardo, who was working as a Red Bull third driver at the time following his McLaren departure at the end of last year, was loaned to AlphaTauri for the remainder of the season, but only competed in the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix.
During Friday practice for the Dutch Grand Prix as F1 returned from the summer break, Ricciardo crashed in practice, breaking his left-hand.
He has undergone surgery and is recovering, but his return date is uncertain as Lawson stepped in for the Dutch and Italian Grands Prix.
There is doubt that Ricciardo will return for the physically demanding races in Singapore and Japan, with Qatar on October 8th a likely return date.
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Lawson states he understands
New Zealander Lawson has been racing in the Super Formula category this year and is in contention for the title at the double-header finale at Suzuka at the end of October.
Having not been handed his F1 break following de Vries’ departure, Lawson says he understands the reasoning behind the team’s decision.
When asked if he felt overlooked at the time, Lawson told media including RacingNews365: "To be honest, no, I was still in my own season. And I was still at that point as well.
"So in this situation with the reason behind choosing Daniel, somebody as experienced as him relative to somebody who's never driven Formula 1, I think it made more sense for sure.
"The only thing I care about is my chances of a future in Formula 1. And that was my first question and basically what I was focused on."