Liam Lawson contract agreement “could happen quickly” – Marko

Liam Lawson finished in a fantastic P11 at Monza, within touching distance of points in his first full F1 weekend. The 21-year-old is already leaving a strong impression in the paddock, including Helmut Marko – who is very pleased with Lawson’s progress.

The AlphaTauri reserve was denied a place in Formula 1 at the start of 2023, as Red Bull instead chose to sign Nyck de Vries.

Daniel Ricciardo was then selected as the Dutchman’s replacement, with Helmut Marko reluctant to interrupt Lawson in the SuperFormula Championship. However, an injury for the 8-time race winner changed these plans.

After an impressive last-minute performance at Zandvoort, the Kiwi again showed tremendous adaptability last weekend.

Speed and fast learning are two invaluable traits in F1 – especially given the struggles most rookies have faced in these areas over recent seasons.

Speaking on Lawson’s future, Helmut Marko was candid about the early signs of potential.

“Liam has been with us for a while. He is a tough but very smart man in a fight, a bit like Bruce McLaren. This is certainly someone for the future.

“The speed was there [last weekend in Italy], and that is a good sign,” Marko told ServusTV.

“However, he is now still driving in the Japanese championship, and there he is second in a very, very difficult battle. The cars are faster there than in Formula 2.

“However, because it is in Japan, it is not viewed that way here.

“Maybe he can win the title there. Will he get a [full-time] seat instead of [staying] a reserve driver? That could happen quickly.”

For all its flaws, the Red Bull Academy cannot be criticised for denying young drivers opportunities.

Many would argue the reigning Champions are too hasty in their decisions, giving talents too little time to develop before replacing or – in other cases – promoting them.

If Lawson maintains this level of performance, it seems unlikely he will be denied a full-time seat at AlphaTauri for next season.

With Yuki Tsunoda also attaining a high level in 2023 (and Daniel Ricciardo showing signs of promise), Helmut Marko and Christian Horner could have a headache in the final races of 2023.

This dilemma, though unexpected, speaks to the ability of Liam Lawson.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang