Everything's bigger in Texas: Liam Lawson's position after return to Alpha Tauri behind Ricciardo

A potential shift in the grid hits the sunny Texas horizon as Ricciardo returns to his seat in Alpha Tauri; leaving an imbalance in the grid. Will Lawson slide off the end?

Megan Grimston
1st November 2023
Image: Twitter- @wtf1official
After Alpha Tauri confirmed Ricciardo and Tsunoda will be returning as their drivers for the 2024 season, questions are brewing as to where Lawson will be sat after substituting in for Ricciardo following his injury at the Dutch Grand Prix. Currently, Lawson is sitting as reserve driver for both Red Bull teams; speculating to some that he is hard done by after Ricciardo's return. However, there is a plethora of reasons why Lawson's position on the grid is secured, Alpha Tauri or not.

Lawson has undoubtedly proved his capability as a sufficient driver on 2023's grid; outracing Tsunoda on three different occasions and landing himself in P9 at Singapore. This excellent performance should provide a change in perspective for Alpha Tauri and possibly even other teams across the grid. Williams' own Logan Sargeant highlights a possible potential for Lawson to find himself racing on a new team. Although he claims that he is "A Red Bull driver" and has not considered moving; Sargeant's point-lacking performance on the grid leaves one pondering who would take up the empty spot on the British team.

"I think he did very well to create an opportunity for himself, so if he keeps on that course, his time will come."

Daniel Ricciardo on Lawson's substitution in his absence

Similarly, talks of position changes in Red Bull's primary team (Red Bull Racing) could open up a permanent spot for Lawson in Alpha Tauri. With the 2023 season coming to an end Red Bull's Team Principle, Christian Horner has made claims that if Checo finishes anything below P2 Ricciardo can be expected to return to his seat on the team alongside Verstappen. If such events were to play out and Red Bull sees its 2017 team return to the grid, Alpha Tauri can look to Lawson as their permanent replacement for Ricciardo with reassurance that Ricciardo's spot will be filled with a point scorer.

Ultimately, Lawson's position on the grid has multiple different paths it can take, all ending up with him remaining as a prominent driver for the 2024 season. If 2024 doesn't see Lawson race in a permanent spot, then his time in Alpha Tauri this season has certainly highlighted the potential he has - hopefully opening people's eyes.

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