Lawson took no 'satisfaction' from beating Tsunoda in Japan after missing out on 2024 AlphaTauri seat

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 24: Liam Lawson of New Zealand and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to drive

Liam Lawson insists he did not take “satisfaction” from being the lead AlphaTauri across the line at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, after it was confirmed earlier in the week that he would not be racing for the team full-time in 2024.

AlphaTauri confirmed last weekend that Daniel Ricciardo – for whom Lawson has been filling in for since he broke his hand in Zandvoort – and Yuki Tsunoda would be their 2024 driver line-up, with Lawson set to take a reserve role at the team next year.

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Following the announcement, Lawson finished 11th ahead of Tsunoda in 12th, with the pair even going wheel-to-wheel in the opening exchanges of the Japanese GP. But Lawson was keen to play down the significance of Sunday's result.

Asked if he was satisfied with beating Tsunoda, Lawson said: “Not satisfaction. I want to be in the seat, and I don’t have one right now. So, it’s basically doing the best job I can each time I get in the car, and I’ll basically keep doing that for as long as I am driving.”

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 24: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG

Lawson and Tsunoda went wheel-to-wheel in the opening lap of the race in Japan

As for the race, the Kiwi felt he and his team maximised their performance, believing that the only cars they were capable of fighting were the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly in ninth and 10th – and even they were "too quick" for them.

“We didn’t quite have the speed [on Sunday],” said Lawson. “I think that when all the teams finish and there is no retirements, and to be honest the only guys we were really racing were potentially the Alpines today and they were too quick.

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"So, it meant that we were just outside the points unfortunately. So, I feel like we pretty much maximised… The fight with Yuki was aggressive, but I think it was a fair race.

"Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, and I think neither of us had the pace to make the top 10. I’m still trying to score points for the team and prove myself every time I get in the car, and I think I did that today.”

‘We didn’t quite have the speed today’ admits Lawson after P11 in Japan


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