Marko defends decision not to replace de Vries with Lawson

Liam Lawson remains in contention for a future in the world of Formula 1.

Despite being the standout talent in Red Bull’s junior driver program, the 21-year-old from New Zealand missed out on securing the Alpha Tauri seat that became available after Nyck de Vries’ departure.

“We engaged in discussions with Liam,” disclosed Dr. Helmut Marko, the influential decision-maker at Red Bull, before ultimately opting to promote Daniel Ricciardo’s return to the Formula 1 grid, as he shared with Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

“He (Lawson) will act as a reserve driver for both teams throughout the season and will take part in the young driver test,” Marko added.

“We believe it would have been unwise to disrupt his progress and remove him from the championship,” Marko asserted, referring to Lawson’s impressive position in the highly competitive Japanese series Super Formula.

Alex Albon, a former protege of Red Bull and current competitor with Williams, expressed his confidence in Lawson’s eventual opportunity in Formula 1.

“I firmly believe that he will secure a place in Formula 1. However, becoming a rookie in the middle of the season would have presented challenges in establishing himself,” Albon commented.

Albon opined that a more favorable start for Lawson would come from undergoing a comprehensive winter preparation and the development process. He voiced his support for Red Bull’s decision to select the experienced Daniel Ricciardo and concurred that Lawson should be granted more time.

“With Daniel’s wealth of experience, his learning curve will be considerably shorter,” Albon concluded.