Liam Lawson says his series of stand-in performances this year means he can’t “settle for anything less” than a 2024 Formula 1 seat.
Lawson was handed the chance to make his grand prix debut with AlphaTauri when Daniel Ricciardo, who had only replaced Nyck de Vries in July, sustained a broken left hand in an FP3 crash at the Dutch Grand Prix.
The Kiwi racer survived minimal practice and changing conditions at Zandvoort to reach the chequered flag before coming up one position short of a points finish in Monza.
However, Lawson advanced to Q3 for the first time in Singapore on Saturday evening, which he converted into ninth place on race day to score his maiden F1 points.
Speaking ahead of the Marina Bay race weekend getting underway, Lawson revealed that his deputy appearances are continuing on a “race by race” basis.
“Right now, it’s race by race and basically, we see in the future,” he continued. “I think I’ll prepare for the next races like normal, but it’s race by race.”
Lawson has admitted that the opportunity has whetted his appetite to secure a place on the 2024 F1 grid, with AlphaTauri yet to confirm its two drivers for next season.
“I think now that I’d say now that I’ve had a taste, it’s definitely something I’ve fallen in love with,” he acknowledged. “And I don’t think I can settle for anything less [than a full-time seat].”
Pressed on whether he had held conversations with the Red Bull hierarchy about what he must do to turn his temporary position into a permanent F1 seat, Lawson replied: “A little bit, but I think it’s just making the most of the situation now.
“I guess we’ll see what happens but it’s obviously very rare to get an opportunity to drive in Formula 1 and I have it now, so it’s just making the most of it.”
After a two-year stint in Formula 2, Lawson has been combining his Red Bull reserve driver duties alongside competing in the Japanese Super Formula series.
The 21-year-old remains in title contention with only a doubleheader at Suzuka remaining, sitting eight points behind championship leader Ritoma Miyata.
Lawson recounts that he accidentally forgot to inform his Mugen team that he would be stepping into F1 machinery to cover for the sidelined Ricciardo last month.
“Now that you mention it, I never told them,” he conceded. “It all happened very, very quickly. And I’ve spoken to them since then but it wasn’t something I actually told them.
“But they’ve been super supportive, all season as well they’ve been amazing to work with and I think it’s helped honestly a lot to be ready for something like this.”
However, Lawson has confirmed he intends to still complete the Super Formula campaign.
“I think so, at this stage, yeah,” he replied when asked if he was scheduled to compete in the final two races in that championship.
“I think there’s plenty of time before our last round for Daniel [Ricciardo] to come back. So right now it’s race-by-race here but I should have enough time.”