Red Bull is famous for its ruthless attitude towards its drivers, as seen with the decision to replace Nyck de Vries after Silverstone – a move that shocked the F1 news space. However, Helmut Marko has recently explained that a more cautious approach is being taken with Liam Lawson.
Max Verstappen is the only known quantity at Red Bull going into 2024, with every other driver at the Austrian squad facing some level of assessment.
Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo are under significant scrutiny at AlphaTauri, tasked with proving themselves capable of being promoted to the main team.
Ricciardo must quickly rediscover his best form at the Faenza squad, whilst Tsunoda’s objective will be to show his progression as a driver over the last eighteen months.
The recent difficulties suffered by Sergio Perez, who fails to match the performances of his teammate in the RB19, will keep the Mexican driver under pressure until 2023 concludes.
Beyond Formula 1, there are two drivers in the Red Bull Academy with a reasonable chance of earning an AlphaTauri seat.
Liam Lawson is the clear favourite, currently competing at an impressive level as a rookie in SuperFormula.
Ayumu Iwasa has also emerged as a talent worth observing in Formula 2.
Speaking after the Hungarian GP, Helmut Marko outlined the logic behind the current driver configuration at Milton Keynes and Faenza:
“Ricciardo is used to the pressure. He wants to go back and knows that he has to perform,” motorsport-total quotes him as saying.
“With Lawson, the risk for him and for us would be much greater. He drives very well in Japan and can finish the championship in peace.
“After the end of the season, we will evaluate how things will continue without burning Liam.”
Therefore, with eleven rounds left this year, there are plenty of unknowns to be addressed to silence the speculation of F1 news outlets and finalise the 2024 F1 grid.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang