AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer has provided an update on the team’s driver situation, as Liam Lawson impressed in only his third race at Singapore.
AlphaTauri started the year with Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries, but the latter was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo after an underwhelming start to his season.
A hand injury sustained by Ricciardo during FP2 at the Dutch Grand Prix has seen him ruled out of the last three race weekends.
And so up stepped rookie Liam Lawson, who has impressed as Ricciardo’s understudy, particularly with a P9 in Singapore. This has left Bayer and AlphaTauri with something of a happy headache - as three drivers compete for two spots for 2024.
Bayer told Sky Germany’s Timo Glock: “It was a sign of life for sure and we are all in talks. We meet every day and Liam has made his mark in the whole grid. We’ll see if he gets a seat for next season.”
Describing the competitive nature of the situation as ‘lucky’, Bayer confirmed that Lawson would be ‘back in the car’ for the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend - with Ricciardo aiming to make his return in Qatar a fortnight later.
On Lawson’s performance in Singapore, Bayer said that Tsunoda’s early retirement due to a puncture may have helped the young driver.
He said: “Yuki not finishing allowed us to concentrate on Liam and his strategy and it worked. I think we did not make any mistakes strategy-wise and he did a great job.”
Bayer found Lawson’s attitude to be particularly impressive for a rookie with no previous experience of Singapore’s gruelling nature.
He said: “We knew that the tyres were worn out and you saw how Liam did not get phased by the situation and proceeded to fight and did it like a professional. We as a team were able to focus on him and we told him to drive and we’ll take care of the rest.
“It helped him to have just one car on the track and we did not have any contact with him during the last five rounds. We let him drive and do his thing.”
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