Despite Signing Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri in Jeopardy for Rejecting the ‘Next Sebastian Vettel’

Published 09/29/2023, 1:55 PM EDT

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When was the last time a young driver made you fall in love with the sport all over again? Well, for the legendary F1 commentator, James Allen, it was Sebastian Vettel. Back at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, Vettel gave himself and Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, their first-ever Grand Prix win. What a day it was. 15 years later, according to an F1 insider, the Faenza-based team was on the verge of repeating that historic feat again. However, they chose to go with Daniel Ricciardo instead.

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Make no mistake, the Honey Badger is still a proper racing driver if he can bounce back from that torrid 2-year spell with McLaren. That being said, the Red Bull stable does have a rising star in their ranks, and with history beckoning, they slammed that door shut despite compelling evidence.

Has AlphaTauri committed a fatal mistake with Daniel Ricciardo extension?

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Ricciardo was originally signed up for a term that would last till the end of the season. However, after his horrific crash at the Dutch GP, the Australian looks like he’s going to be out for the majority of that time span. Yet, without really any fundamental reason to give Ricciardo that 2024 AlphaTauri seat, the Bulls have decided to give him the shot, anyway.

But with how Liam Lawson has been performing as his replacement has Eddie Jordan in two minds. On the Formula for Success podcast, while showering heaps of praise on Ricciardo for the flavor he brings to the F1 paddock, and the physical specimen that he is, Jordan was quoted as saying, “But, that doesn’t win you Grands Prix.”

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He continued, “I’d love to see Lawson but at the same time, Formula 1 does not need to lose characters and drivers [like Ricciardo]. But one part of me says, ‘Put Lawson in the car, take the chance.’ Because you have the chance of making another [Sebastian] Vettel.”

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Despite this major setback, all doesn’t seem to be lost for the young Kiwi after all.

Liam Lawson still has hope for 2024 F1 seat

As things stand, Liam Lawson, despite his splendid F1 debut so far, doesn’t have a seat for 2024. However, with an underperforming Logan Sargeant at Williams and Christian Horner‘s coy admission, Lawson may still have a shot at a 2024 seat.

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He told the media, “He [Liam Lawson] already is a Grand Prix driver, you know, at some stage. Whether he has to wait a little for that or not, then…I think he’s demonstrating that that he is a talent for the future.”

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WATCH THIS STORY | How F1 Escaped a Huge Safety Disaster at the 2023 Azerbaijan GP in Baku

Can Liam Lawson become Williams’ 2nd driver for 2024?

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Written by:

Anirban Aly Mandal

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Anirban Aly Mandal is a senior F1 writer at EssentiallySports, with over 1000 articles published on the platform. Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 while playing on his computer, and he has since then dived deep into the world of motorsports. Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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