Liam Lawson competes for AlphaTauri for the third time in Singapore and is working towards a regular seat for 2024, also with the help of the Super Formula title fight
At the moment, Liam Lawson is fully focused on his work as a replacement driver for Daniel Ricciardo in Formula 1, but in Super Formula, a decision in the title fight still awaits the Australian, who is only eight points behind championship leader Ritomo Miyata in second place.
The season finale takes place at the end of October parallel to the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix. But Ricciardo should be fit again by then. His return is expected in Qatar.
“I think there’s plenty of time between now and our last race for Daniel to come back,” Lawson said, looking ahead to his season finale. “At the moment it’s race to race here, but I should have plenty of time.”
In his first Formula 1 outing at Zandvoort, where Ricciardo broke his hand, he came straight from Super Formula at Motegi and was only going to do his usual back-up duties at AlphaTauri, but then had to really get at it.
Super Formula team didn’t know anything at first
This happened so quickly that he didn’t even get to tell his super-formula team Mugen. “I never told them – it all happened very, very quickly! I’ve spoken to them since, of course, but it wasn’t anything I really told them,” he revealed in Singapore on Thursday.
“But they have been super supportive of me all season. It’s been great working with them, and I think it’s also helped me a lot to be ready for something like this.”
The 21-year-old summed up his first two Formula 1 races at Zandvoort and Monza as “okay”. “Obviously it’s a big change and you have to learn a lot very quickly. I think Monza was a bit easier. It was a track I knew better and I had prepared well for. But I think it’s a bit more difficult this weekend,” he looks ahead.
Lawson is not yet familiar with Singapore, but has always wanted to go here. “It was a race I always liked as a kid because it was a night race. And my dad promised me every year since I was seven that he would take me to the race, but we never got to go. “
Lawson happy with no less than regular place
But now the Australian is turning the tables. “Both my parents are coming this weekend. I’m taking them with me this time,” he reveals. Lawson has prepared himself in the simulator and with heat training, because Singapore is known to be one of the most strenuous Grands Prix on the Formula 1 calendar.
Asked about his future in the premier class, he makes no secret of his desire to secure a regular place for 2024. “Now that I’ve had a taste of it, it’s definitely something I’ve fallen in love with,” he said.
“And I don’t think I can settle for anything less. I think you just have to make the best of the situation now. We’ll see what happens, but it’s very rare that you get an opportunity to race in Formula One and I have it now, so I have to make the most of it. “