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Liam Lawson

The driver whose F1 opportunity will come by doing nothing

The Formula 1 driver market features several drivers who are looking to impress with their current results in order to be considered for next year. But there is one candidate whose best course of action is to sit still.

Lawson
Analysis
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

The Formula 1 driver market has been in full swing since Ferrari's shock announcement that it had signed Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 season.

There has been much focus on the futures of Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and even Fernando Alonso before the Spaniard agreed to extend his deal at Aston Martin.

Further down the grid, there are still several seats up for grabs and several contenders vying for the drives.

But there’s one driver whose best chance at scoring a permanent seat for the 2025 campaign will arrive by sitting idly.

In a world where a driver's most recent results mean everything to maintain a reputation, it’s a luxury that Liam Lawson can enjoy.

It’s true that Lawson’s current recognition has stemmed from the run of races he took part in last year when he replaced the injured Daniel Ricciardo.

The New Zealander impressed on his debut in difficult conditions in the Netherlands and even bagged points on his first trip to Singapore, crossing the line in ninth.

However, these outings will be well over a year old by the time the 2025 season commences - but as Red Bull's F1 set-up does not mirror tradition, it will make little difference for Lawson.

His performances drew praise from Helmut Marko who opened the door to a full-time slot for Lawson next year.

Earlier this season Lawson declared he would look elsewhere for a seat if an opportunity doesn’t arise within the Red Bull organisation soon.

But it seems almost inevitable at this stage that Lawson will be present on the grid next year, perhaps stepping in once again for Ricciardo.

			© Red Bull Content Pool
	© Red Bull Content Pool

Ricciardo’s season has been a struggle so far as he has failed to match the pace on display from team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

The Australian has admitted to being mystified by his lack of pace in a situation that greatly resembles the turbulent years he endured at McLaren.

Should a shake-up be required at the RB team, it will be Ricciardo who is shown the door and Lawson who is ready to step into the vacancy.

Tsunoda has performed strongly at the squad since the start of the year (bar his team order meltdown in Bahrain) and now in his fourth F1 season, he will soon fulfil the “experienced” position RB wants to have within its squad instead of fielding a duo of rookies.

In order for Lawson to remain the most suitable candidate, what does he have to do? Absolutely nothing at all.

In order for Lawson to remain the most suitable candidate, what does he have to do? Absolutely nothing at all.

While Lawson will be carrying out tasks behind the scenes in his role as a reserve driver, they come without the extent of the pressure of performing on-track driving duties.

Lawson already dealt with that pressure, to resounding success, when he was handed his run of races last year.

He faced the test and passed. Although a permanent seat may come over a year after his initial outings which could become outdated in most settings, Lawson has the luxury of being the next direct candidate in Red Bull’s unique F1 set-up.

Jumping back behind the wheel of a car, while it may appealing, may dent all the progress that Lawson made in his pursuit of an F1 drive last year.

It may help his case that he no longer fulfils the rookie tag that teams must look for when offering two FP1 outings per season.

Lawson’s stock is high - enough to get him in the F1 door. There is nothing left to prove after his five grands prix last year, which should be treated as the exam to assess his worth.

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