Liam Lawson has said revealed he will not take up a role with Williams and will remain as a reserve driver for both Red Bull-owned Formula 1 teams in 2024.
Ahead of the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, AlphaTauri confirmed their driver line-up for 2024, with Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda being their chosen pair for next season.
The decision means that Lawson will become the reserve and test driver after giving Red Bull a headache following his impressive showings whilst standing in for Ricciardo, including his first career points at the Singapore GP.
Contention for the last seat on the grid for 2024 is heating up as Logan Sargeant continues to add crash damage to the Williams budget, whilst remaining off the pace of Alex Albon.
“I’m a Red Bull driver and the Red Bull seats are filled,” Lawson said. “Unfortunately for me that means that’s for now and I’ll be a reserve driver.
“I’m going to keep head down at the moment and try to make the most of these races. Ultimately my goal has been F1 from day one, so I’ll try and do what I can to achieve that in the future.”
Williams looking for long-term
Felipe Drugovich and Mick Schumacher have been linked to Williams, but the German has been ruled out after James Vowles saw his telemetry data compared to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
With Sargeant yet to be confirmed for 2024 and having crashed once again in Japanese GP qualifying, there is one final seat up for grabs.
Part of why Williams are said to have rejected Schumacher is that they are unwilling to take on a ‘loan’ driver, who will likely later leave the team.
Perhaps the team are noticing that Albon‘s stocks are rising, as the Thai driver has been linked with moves to Ferrari or even back to Red Bull throughout 2023.
They are looking for someone who they can build around and invest in for the future, so it’s possible that Lawson wasn’t on their radar anyway.
Whilst Drugovich is partnered with Aston Martin, it’s possible he could leave the team to join Williams as Lance Stroll‘s contract is practically infinite so long as he wants to continue with his father owning the team.
For now they are seemingly giving Sargeant time to improve, even if they are not removing the pressure of an unconfirmed 2024 spot from above his head.