Why Lawson credits ‘high pressure’ Red Bull with early F1 success

Liam Lawson has credited the “high pressure” Red Bull Young Driver programme with his success filling in for Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri.

The 21 year-old from New Zealand has been part of the programme since 2019 and impressed on his debut after finishing 13th in the tricky conditions at Zandvoort, having only completed one practice session and qualifying ahead of the race.

He scored his first points in Formula 1 in the Singapore Grand Prix, following an 11th at Monza, becoming the first of the three drivers in the second AlphaTauri to score points all season, and scooped the team’s best result of ninth.

However, when it came to a 2024 race seat, Lawson was overlooked, with him being set for a spell as third and reserve driver while Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda got the nod for a race seat.

While the Red Bull Young Driver programme can often be known for its cut-throat attitude towards drivers, with Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon and Danill Kvyat all demoted from the senior team, Lawson believes the intensity helps cope with the demands of Formula 1.

Lawson to weigh up 2025 options

“One of the positives about being a Red Bull driver is for me, having five years in this program, it’s a high-pressure program and we’re put under pressure from day one,” Lawson told media including RacingNews365.

“I’m now used to that, it’s been five years of that, so situations like this I’m ready for them.”

There is only now one full-time seat available on the grid for 2024 with Williams, who has yet to confirm whether Logan Sargeant will continue for a second season.

Lawson expects to weigh up his options after completing the races with AlphaTauri, which could stretch into Qatar depending on Ricciardo’s recovery.

“I’m a Red Bull driver and all of the Red Bull seats are filled [for next year] and unfortunately for now I’ll be reserve driver,” said Lawson.

“Right now I’m trying to just do the best job in these races that I can.

“I think once this stint that I have is over, then I can start looking at potentially how I’ve done with what options are out there.”

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