Red Bull junior wins race, puts pressure on Nyck de Vries for F1 seat

Red Bull junior wins race, puts pressure on Nyck de Vries for F1 seat

Liam Lawson is quickly establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of motorsport, particularly in Super Formula, where he secured another victory over the weekend. After a successful third-place finish in last year’s Formula 2 championship, Lawson made the switch to Super Formula for the 2023 season and has wasted no time in leaving his mark.

With four races completed, the New Zealand driver currently leads the championship standings, thanks to his recent triumph at Autopolis. Lawson’s impressive performance has put him in the spotlight, especially as Nyck de Vries faces mounting pressure for his AlphaTauri seat. If Red Bull decides to make a change, Lawson is emerging as the leading candidate to fill the vacancy.

Despite not starting from pole position and facing the absence of his Team Mugen teammate Tomoki Nojiri due to a collapsed lung, Lawson showcased his resilience and skill by overcoming these challenges to claim victory. His triumph catapulted him ahead of Ritomo Miyata in the 2023 standings. Moreover, Team Mugen currently enjoys a comfortable lead in the Constructors’ standings, boasting a 42-point advantage over second-placed TOM’S Racing.

Lawson’s credentials extend beyond his recent success in Super Formula. As the second-longest-serving member of Red Bull’s junior team, he brings a wealth of experience to the table. At just 21 years old, he has already competed in 12 different racing series. Additionally, Lawson has gained Formula 1 exposure by serving as a reserve driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri. He has also tested the AT02 and made his debut appearance in FP1 at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix.

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s senior advisor, hinted at the possibility of a Formula 1 promotion for Lawson while discussing potential replacements for Nyck de Vries. Marko dismissed the idea of Daniel Ricciardo returning to the team and suggested that if a change were to occur, Red Bull would turn to its pool of young talent, specifically mentioning Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa.

If Lawson were to secure a Formula 1 seat with Red Bull, he would join the ranks of 14 academy graduates who have progressed to Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri. Of those 14 drivers, seven ultimately advanced to Red Bull Racing, with Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and Max Verstappen being the standout success stories.

As Lawson continues to impress with his skill and consistency, the motorsport world eagerly awaits the next chapter in his burgeoning career. With Red Bull’s attention firmly fixed on him, the opportunity for him to make the leap to Formula 1 appears closer than ever.

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