Sky F1 pundit Bernie Collins believes AlphaTauri erred in not pairing Daniel Ricciardo with Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson for the 2024 season - and suggests sponsors may have saved Yuki Tsunoda from making way for the New Zealander.
However, Collins sees this decision as a missed opportunity to inject fresh talent and energy into AlphaTauri, and says it's a 'pity' that seats are often decided based on factors away from the race track.
Lawson 'should be in a car'
“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,” Collins said.
“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."
Lawson could get a seat soon
Collins suggests that while Lawson might have declined to step outside the Red Bull umbrella, team managers could be enticed to pursue him in the near future.
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