Liam Lawson says he is not thinking of a potential F1 seat in 2023 despite the uncertainty surrounding Pierre Gasly’s future within the Red Bull family.
Whether Pierre Gasly stays with Scuderia AlphaTauri or joins the Alpine F1 team, it’s the next big part of F1’s “silly season”. Gasly has emerged as the favorite for the seat vacated by Fernando Alonso, sort of Oscar Piastri, in 2023.
Pierre Gasly has a contract for 2023 but faces obstacles regarding his future at Red Bull. He currently occupies the third seat in the Red Bull family behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
However, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are under contract with Red Bull Racing. The former will be locked until 2028 and the latter until the end of 2024.
Pierre Gasly will therefore have to withdraw from sponsorship of Red Bull if he wants to advance his career.
The identity of the potential successor is the subject of intense speculation, with two names mainly linked to the seat.
Haas F1 Team’s Mick Schumacher is one of my favourites. The German is out of contract with the Haas F1 team at the end of the season, the team declined to discuss his future plans. He is also rumored to have graduated from the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Colton Herta is another name that has been suggested, but Americans face many obstacles to get there. Chief among them is the fact that he does not have an F1 superlicense and is not entitled to one. Given his proven IndyCar pedigree, there are arguments he could qualify for a waiver, a path that has previously failed.
Red Bull can also look within, with many drivers in its junior program starting to show signs they are ready to progress.
Liam Lawson is definitely in the lead. The New Zealander, who has won three Formula 2 races this season, took part in Scuderia AlphaTauri Free Practice 1 at the Belgian Grand Prix just over a week ago.
“Of course I think it’s very easy to get excited,” Lawson said when asked about the possibility of qualifying for F1.
“It’s F1, but at the end of the day I have to finish strong in F2.”
“It wasn’t the season I wanted and we were aiming to do well.”
“So we have to do a better job and finish strong. I honestly think that’s the biggest determinant of what happens going forward.”
“Of course there is a lot going on. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the end, but for me the only goal is to drive this F2 as fast as possible.
Liam Lawson, 20, says he tries not to think too much about the situation, especially if it could bring a driver outside of Red Bull’s F1 program ahead of him.
“At the end of the day, it’s pointless,” Liam Lawson said.
“Fortunately, I have been in this program for almost four years.”
“It’s easier from year to year to manage the outside pressure. Four years ago you had different drivers in front of you and around you, because there are always a good number of Red Bull drivers.
“So right now I don’t think it’s worth watching. To be honest, I don’t care. Right now I’m focusing on this work[F2].”