In light of his impressive early track record in Super Formula, Lawson was seen as a potential candidate to graduate to F1 as soon as this year, if Red Bull decided to replace de Vries due to the novice’s underperformance.
However, Ricciardo was selected to replace de Vries for the concluding 12 races of the 2023 season, as AlphaTauri emphasized its preference for an established driver to help them bounce back from their ongoing slump.
In a discussion ahead of the upcoming Fuji Super Formula race, Lawson stated that his ambition is still to use his Japan-based performance to persuade Red Bull of his worthiness for a promotion in 2024, though he conceded that a mid-season advancement could have posed challenges.
“I’ve always intended to finish the season here [in Super Formula],” Lawson shared with F1 Flow.com. “My objective was to secure a spot for the upcoming year.
“Joining mid-season could have been extremely demanding, and given AlphaTauri’s situation, they were seeking an experienced individual who has spent considerable time in Formula 1. So, I get their choice.
“However, my concentration is on this [Super Formula]. My prospects at Formula 1 hinge on my performance here. So, I must wrap up the year as effectively as possible and aim for this championship win, which could pave the way for me.
“I have to ensure I do my utmost to maximize my chances. And then, if it doesn’t work out, I can confidently say I did all I could.”
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Pirelli
With Ricciardo’s entry satisfying AlphaTauri’s need for a seasoned driver, it appears the only potential slot for Lawson in 2024 is the one currently filled by Yuki Tsunoda.
When queried about whether he would prefer Ricciardo beating Tsunoda in the remaining F1 season races, Lawson replied, “I simply need a position, and I’m not particularly concerned about whose it is!
“I am solely focused on this, and Red Bull has instructed me to do the same. They expect me to win the championship, and we’ll discuss it afterward.”
Lawson reemphasized his readiness to transition to Formula 1, having served as Red Bull’s reserve driver since midway through the 2022 season.
“I’ve been the backup driver this year, and by the year’s end, I’ll have filled that role for nearly two seasons,” the Kiwi stated.
“I’m primed for Formula 1, I desire a spot. I’ll concentrate on delivering the best performance here to achieve that. Beyond that, it’s out of my hands.”
Lawson currently ranks second in the Super Formula standings after securing a landmark debut victory in the Japanese series at Fuji in April, which he later followed up with a second win at Autopolis.
The Kiwi managed to qualify second after Tadasuke Makino for this weekend’s race, which cut Ritomo Miyata’s lead in the championship to 10 points.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lawson’s F1 ambition
Why was Lawson seen as a potential candidate for Formula 1?
Lawson was viewed as a potential candidate for Formula 1 due to his early impressive performance in Super Formula, and it was thought that he might graduate to F1 if Red Bull decided to replace de Vries.
Who was chosen to replace de Vries for the final 12 races of the 2023 season?
Ricciardo was chosen to replace de Vries for the final 12 races of the 2023 season. AlphaTauri preferred an experienced driver to help them recover from their ongoing slump.
What is Lawson’s focus and strategy after AlphaTauri’s decision?
Lawson is focused on his performance in the Super Formula. His strategy is to complete the year as effectively as possible and aim to win the championship, which he believes will help him secure a spot in Formula 1 in 2024.
What seat could potentially be available for Lawson in 2024?
With Ricciardo fulfilling AlphaTauri’s requirement for a seasoned driver, the only potential slot for Lawson in 2024 appears to be the one currently occupied by Yuki Tsunoda.
Has Lawson had any prior experience related to Formula 1?
Yes, Lawson has been serving as Red Bull’s reserve driver since midway through the 2022 season, providing him with some exposure and experience related to Formula 1.