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Lawson on uncertain future with AlphaTauri: 'I do believe I should be in F1'

Liam Lawson Liam Lawson - The Canadian Press

Liam Lawson has impressed in his three races since replacing the injured Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri, but his future on the grid remains unclear. 

Lawson will race again this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix as Ricciardo continues to recover from a broken hand. AlphaTauri has yet to announce its driver lineup for 2024, having already used three drivers – Nyck de Vries, Ricciardo and Lawson – in one car, with Yuki Tsunoda occupying the other this season.

“I think every driver feels like they should be [on the grid] and we all…to be at this level, we all have to have self-belief and I certainly have that, but right now I’m focused on delivering these weekends,” Lawson said in Japan, per the F1 website.

“When the stint that I have, when it ends, I’ll look back on it and I guess assess how I’ve done. But yeah, I do believe I should be in F1.”

Watch the Japanese Grand Prix with coverage all weekend long on TSN and TSN+ leading into Sunday's race at 12:55am et/9:55pm pt. (Saturday).

Lawson finished 13th in his debut race at the Dutch Grand Prix, less than 48 hours after getting the call to replace Ricciardo. He placed 11th at the Italian Grand Prix and scored points for the first time last weekend with a ninth-place finish in Singapore. 

The ninth-place result marked AlphaTauri's best result of the season, with Tsunoda previously coming 10th on three occasions. 

Ricciardo finished 13th and 16th in his two races prior to his injury, but Tsunoda said the results could be misleading as the team faces a difficult decision for the 2024 seats. 

“It’s not confirmed yet, but I don’t know to be honest," Tsunoda said. "I think from both perspectives they are positive.

“Daniel brings definitely more experience and he showed a lot of feedback comparison. I think it’s really good to kind of… He definitely can tell more details about how the car is behaving, so I think it helps a lot for the engineers.

“I think, and as you analyse it, especially how he talks and how he helps the development side, so if the team wants to develop the car more to be competitive, maybe Daniel. But, at the same time, Liam, I think he showed in the first two, three races a good performance and probably he’s still progressing.

“As a performance side… Obviously I’ve just done with Daniel two races and it was not probably the best time for AlphaTauri as well. And the last two races, when Liam actually came into F1, the car was pretty good – Monza and Singapore. So, actually, he had a good time as well, but at the same time he definitely performed well.”

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