AlphaTauri is the biggest mover in this year’s F1 driver market. Liam Lawson has added to the intriguing dynamic at Faenza, presenting the Italian outfit with another option for the 2024 season. With eight rounds left, F1 news outlets will undoubtedly focus on the instability within the team.
Daniel Ricciardo’s first sessions in the AT04 were impressive, silencing concerns that adaptability would again be his kryptonite. Frustratingly, an incident in Zandvoort forces him to watch from the sidelines for Singapore.
Simultaneously, this injury presents Liam Lawson with a chance to show his calibre. Although conclusions cannot yet be drawn, Lawson is already capturing positive attention in F1 news headlines.
Yuki Tsunoda, to his credit, continues to perform as a strong benchmark for AlphaTauri. None of his three teammates from this season have outshone him.
Although the sample size available for Lawson and Ricciardo is still too small, this doesn’t negate the 23-year-old’s steady progression.
With that said, Tsunoda is not guaranteed a seat next year. Red Bull is clearly invested in Ricciardo, viewing their ex-driver as a viable option to drive alongside Max Verstappen.
Furthermore, at a team searching for elite-calibre talents, Lawson is in the mix for next year. Even sporadic flashes of pace could convince Red Bull that Lawson’s ceiling is high enough to warrant a full-time contract.
Ultimately, Red Bull wants drivers at AlphaTauri who – regardless of age – can compete in the main team.
Helmut Marko is renowned for his ruthlessness and has shown little interest in promoting Tsunoda to the main team.
Whilst this isn’t a death sentence for the Japanese driver, evidently, nothing can be taken for granted.
There is no clarity on who will drive at AlphaTauri for the remainder of this year’s campaign. As ever, all heads will be turned towards an increasingly volatile and unpredictable F1 team.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang