Liam Lawson keeps his cool as the Formula 1 seat stops balancing

Liam Lawson has experience with the Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula 1 team which could aid his chances of securing a drive there.
Peter Fox / Getty Images

Liam Lawson has experience with the Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula 1 team which could help his chances of securing a drive there.

New Zealand driver Liam Lawson remains calm as F1’s 2023 chance hangs in the balance.

Red Bull’s budding star continues to be popularly mentioned as AlphaTauri prepares to find a replacement for French driver Pierre Gasly.

Gasly is expected to head to France’s Alpine team to replace Fernando Alonso, who is leaving for Aston Martin.

Formula 2.

New Zealander Liam Lawson, after training in F1, won the F2 race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Lawson, 20, has strong connections with AlphaTauri, Red Bull Racing’s reserve team led by Max Verstappen. Lawson tested with the AlphaTauri last December and had a formal practice with them at the last Belgian Grand Prix.

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Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, indicated that they would release Gasly, who has a year to run under his contract, if certain conditions could be met.

“We won’t stand in Gasly’s way. It would be a dream come true for him to drive in a French factory team. But Marko told Sky Sports Germany: ‘All the conditions are not met yet.’

That leaves the big question of who will get the seat in the AlphaTauri?

Lawson, who has run three Formula 2 races, won this season and ranks fifth as Red Bull’s best driver in that championship, appears to be at the top of the internal promotion list.

A potential obstacle for him is American IndyCar star Colton Herta, who has emerged as a substitute despite licensing issues.

There is buzz around Liam Lawson as the Formula 1 seats rise.

Peter Fox / Getty Images

There is buzz around Liam Lawson as the Formula 1 seats rise.

Marko confirmed that the team has a contingency plan in the event of Gasly’s departure.

“We’ve already thought about it, but we don’t want to announce it yet,” he said.

“We have some people on the junior team who are excelling.

“We have our own programme. Of course, we prefer our people.”

But Marko admitted Herta has resumed given the strength of the US Formula One market.

“He has already done the Formula 1 test, it was good. I don’t want to go into details. Let’s wait and see how this develops.”

It’s a ridiculous season and Lawson is keeping his cool as it all revolves around him.

“I think it’s very easy to be very excited,” Lawson said as he approached Speedcafe.com about a possible F1 dock.

“Look, it’s Formula 1, but at the end of the day I have to finish strong in Formula 2.

Liam Lawson had some priceless laps in the Scuderia AlphaTauri AT03 while training ahead of the F1 Grand Prix in Belgium.

Dan Mullan / Getty Images

Liam Lawson had some priceless laps in the Scuderia AlphaTauri AT03 while training ahead of the F1 Grand Prix in Belgium.

“It wasn’t the season I was hoping it would be and I think we started that too.

“So we need to do a better job and finish strong and honestly, that’s the biggest decision, I think, for what’s going to happen in the future.

“Obviously there is a lot going on. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds in the end. But for me the only focus is to drive a Formula 2 car as fast as possible.”

Pressure is mounting on Lawson to produce something special this weekend at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza where F2 is once again raising the curtain.

It’s the penultimate F2 race and there is a long wait until the end of the season in Abu Dhabi on November 19-20.

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