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F1 pundit claims team denied Ricciardo 'strong' team-mate pairing

F1 pundit claims team denied Ricciardo 'strong' team-mate pairing

F1 pundit claims team denied Ricciardo 'strong' team-mate pairing

F1 pundit claims team denied Ricciardo 'strong' team-mate pairing

Bernie Collins has insisted that Liam Lawson should have been given a seat at AlphaTauri alongside Daniel Ricciardo for the 2024 F1 season – not Yuki Tsunoda.

Lawson replaced Ricciardo for five races after he broke a bone in his left hand in a crash in practice at the Dutch Grand Prix. The 22-year-old’s performances following that incident quickly put him in the conversation for a full-time drive.

However, the New Zealander was overlooked in favour of Ricciardo and Tsunoda for the 2024 season, having been told he would not be given a seat over the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, where he delivered the team’s best result of the season at that time, finishing ninth.

Liam Lawson impressed in his time with AlphaTauri
But AlphaTauri opted for Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda for 2024

Collins: Lawson should have got the seat

The Faenza squad’s premise appears to be changing, with less emphasis seemingly now on young talent, as evidenced by Ricciardo signing on and Tsunoda staying for his fourth season. But Bernie Collins believes that the latter’s seat should have gone to Lawson.

Speaking with Speedcafe, she said: “It’s a pity in F1 that some things are led by sponsors, some things are led by dealings, whatever, but on pure performance, he should be in a car, he should be in a seat.

“And arguably, that should have been the AlphaTauri seat with Daniel Ricciardo because you would have a very strong line-up of a young guy that’s clearly very good, and Ricciardo who has very strong pace and a lot of experience.

“That would work really well, you’d imagine, for the AlphaTauri team, that mix. That’s not happened, which is a pity.

“What’s going to be very interesting going forward now is what Liam’s able to do over the next season. [He] needs to be in a strong position to step into that car."

Bernie Colins believes Tsunoda's seat should have gone to Lawson

“We don’t know what happened with the Williams seat if it was offered to him, and then he said he wanted to stay in the Red Bull family. We don’t know the answers to those questions,” she added.

“But you would like to think that other team managers are sitting, looking at his performance, going ‘to get in a car that quickly is no mean feat’.

“So yeah, I totally think he deserves that spot on the grid, and it’s a bit of a pity that he’s missed it.

“But he has given himself one fantastic interview. He cannot do any better than he did.”

READ MORE: Hamilton issues Red Bull warning with exciting Mercedes 2024 F1 car update

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