Lawson learned he’d be driving in Qatar via surprise Ricciardo FaceTime call

Liam Lawson discovered he would be driving at the F1 Qatar Grand Prix when he received an unexpected video call from Daniel Ricciardo. 
Lawson learned he’d be driving in Qatar via surprise Ricciardo FaceTime call

The 21-year-old New Zealander will once again stand in for Ricciardo at AlphaTauri this weekend as the latter continues to recover from breaking his left hand at the Dutch Grand Prix in August. 

Lawson, who has replaced Ricciardo at Zandvoort, Monza, Singapore and Suzuka so far, revealed he found out he would be in the car again directly from the Australian.

Red Bull’s reserve driver got a FaceTime call from a number he didn’t recognise at lunchtime on Monday - and it turned out to be Ricciardo. 

“On Monday, so I was sitting at lunch and I had a random number call me and it was a FaceTime,” Lawson explained on Thursday in Qatar. 

“I was really confused because people don't just FaceTime randomly, so I answered it and it was just Daniel's face.

“And he basically said that he thought he would let me have another weekend. 

“Obviously it’s good to be back and good to be in the car this weekend. It’s a very different circuit, but I'm excited.” 

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTauri. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit,
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTauri. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16,…

Lawson added: “After Japan I guess it was looking more likely that we'd be driving so we just carried on preparing like normal. 

“I didn't assume I was driving but we just prepped like like a normal situation like I would be. 

“Obviously I want to be here full time but just trying to make the most of this.”

Asked if Ricciardo had given him any indication whether he will return to the cockpit for the United States Grand Prix in Austin on October 20-22, Lawson replied: “I think that's definitely the target. 

“I would say it's more likely that he would be back in Austin, but obviously I can't say for certain. 

“Obviously we have over a week to to give more time to be ready for it. So I would say it's probably Austin.” 

With Ricciardo already confirmed at AlphaTauri for 2024, alongside Yuki Tsunoda, Lawson is set for another year on the sidelines in his reserve role. 

There has been talk that Lawson could be loaned to Williams as a replacement for Logan Sargeant, but that scenario has been downplayed by both parties. 

Asked if there is a hypothetical chance that he could be loaned to a non-Red Bull team for next season, Lawson said: “I don’t know, honestly.” 

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