Liam Lawson’s F1 return hopes dashed as RB “very happy” with Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo

Liam Lawson's chances of making the F1 grid in 2024 have taken a hit.

Liam Lawson (NZL) RB Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
Liam Lawson (NZL) RB Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2,…

Liam Lawson’s hopes of making a return to the F1 grid in 2025 have taken a hit after RB CEO Peter Bayer suggested they are “very happy” with their current driver line-up.

Both RB drivers are out of contract at the end of the year, and given Lawson’s impressive F1 cameo last year, he was being lined up for a full-time drive in 2025.

But it seems Red Bull’s original plan of putting Daniel Ricciardo alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull and then Yuki Tsunoda alongside Lawson at the junior team isn’t on the cards.

Ricciardo’s form alongside Tsunoda has been poor and doesn’t warrant a promotion, meaning Red Bull are favouring Sergio Perez, with reports suggesting his new deal could be announced in the next few weeks.

Tsunoda’s form in 2024 has been mighty - and is more than worthy of an extension - while Ricciardo’s experience and marketability makes him a big asset.

Bayer isn’t interested in discussing the team’s driver line-up for next year, making it very clear he’s satisfied with the current pairing.

“We’re very happy with both of our drivers,” Bayer said. “And honestly, we’re not wasting time with discussing ifs and whens.

“We have a very strong line-up. We have a great reserve driver. We have great talent coming through F2, F3. Currently, it’s all about focusing on performance – the focus is more on Aston Martin in front of us than on driver discussions.”

Bayer hinted that their driver line-up won’t be a discussion point until the summer break.

“Liam is an extremely valuable member to the team,” Bayer added. “He’s with us every weekend, obviously. He’s doing a lot of work in the simulator.

“But as I said before, currently we have two drivers in the cars. We are finding performance with the two. And we really do not discuss the 2025 situation, perhaps because we’re in a luxury situation of having that strong grassroot pyramid behind us.

“So the focus is really on track and on the next couple of races until definitely the summer break.”

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