‘I don’t think I can settle for anything less’ – Lawson targets 2024 race seat after ‘very rare’ F1 chance with AlphaTauri
Liam Lawson has admitted to “falling in love” with F1 race duties during his first two Grand Prix weekends at AlphaTauri, adding that he is focused on using the opportunity to secure a full-time seat for the 2024 season.
Lawson was drafted in to replace the Daniel Ricciardo after the Australian broke his hand during a practice crash in the Netherlands and remained in the cockpit at Monza last time out, coming close to the points with a P11 finish.
With Ricciardo’s recovery continuing and a return date yet to be confirmed, Lawson will get a third outing at the wheel of the AT04 at the Singapore Grand Prix, where he was asked about how long he could remain as a stand-in.
“Right now, it’s race-by-race, and basically we see in the future,” said the 21-year-old New Zealander. “I think I’ll prepare for the next races like normal, but it’s race-by-race.”
Asked if the experiences so far have whetted his appetite for 2024, he added: “I think now that… I’d say now that I’ve had a taste, it’s definitely something I’ve fallen in love with and I don’t think I can settle for anything less.”
Lawson was then pushed on what he needs to do to turn his temporary position into a permanent spot, with AlphaTauri – who are also currently fielding Yuki Tsunoda – the only team on the grid yet to announce either of their 2024 drivers.
“I think it’s just making the most of the situation now,” he commented. “I guess we see what happens. It’s obviously very rare that you get an opportunity to drive in F1 and I have it now, so it’s just making the most of it.”
Following Zhou Guanyu’s renewal with Alfa Romeo, the AlphaTauri seats are two of just three yet to be firmed up for next year, with the wait going on to find out whether Williams will stick with Logan Sargeant.
Also making an appearance in Thursday’s driver press conference at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, the American rookie discussed his own future prospects and what it will take for him to continue in F1.
“I think from the team’s side and what I want to see from my side is just constant improvement from now until the end of the season, just keep making steps forward,” said Sargeant.
“I feel like I have made steps forward, I’m starting to deliver laps when I need to in qualifying, [and] just being more controlled and comfortable.
“I feel like as long as I keep doing that, keep coming into these weekends as well prepared as I can… The goal is just keep making steps forward.”