Lawson says FaceTime call from Ricciardo confirmed Qatar drive


Liam Lawson says a random FaceTime call that happened to be from Daniel Ricciardo confirmed his presence in Qatar for his fifth F1 race with AlphaTauri.

Lawson subbed for Ricciardo at the last hour at Zandvoort in late August in the wake of the Aussie’s crash in FP2 in which he sustained a broken metacarpal in his left hand.

Subsequent surgery and rehabilitation have so far prevented Ricciardo from returning to the grid, although it’s likely that the 34-year-old will return to his seat at the US Grand Prix in two weeks in Austin.

Lawson’s impressive interim stint with AlphaTauri has therefore extended to this weekend’s round of racing in Qatar, with his presence confirmed last Monday by the very man that he is replacing.

“I was sitting at lunch and I had a random number call me and it was a FaceTime,” the Kiwi recounted.

“I was really confused because people don’t just FaceTime randomly, so I answered it and it was just Daniel’s face!

“He basically said that he thought he’d let me have another weekend. Obviously good to be back, good to be in the car this weekend. I’m excited.”

Lawson’s performances have been improving with each passing race. In Singapore, the talented 21-year-old scored his first world championship points.

“To be honest, after Japan, it was looking more likely that we’d be driving so we just carried on preparing like normal,” added Lawson

“I didn’t assume I was driving but we prepped like a normal situation like I would be. It’s a bit different. I want to be here full-time but just trying to make the most of this.

“I think [Austin] is definitely the target [for Ricciardo]. I think that’s more likely.

“Obviously, I can’t say for certain, but we have over a week to get more time to be ready for it. So, I would say it’s probably Austin.”


In Japan, AlphaTauri confirmed that Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda will constitute the team’s line-up for 2024, leaving Lawson to return to his reserve role with Red Bull Racing next year.

But Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko says Lawson will be handed a race in 2025.

“He is a tough racer and one of the strongest drivers ever in a duel,” the Austrian told Kleine Zeitung.

“With the role as reserve driver, he has a big task next year but by 2025 at the latest, he will be in a Formula 1 car anyway.”

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