AlphaTauri rookie Liam Lawson says he has fallen in love with F1 during his unscheduled apprenticeship in the sport and now “can’t settle for anything less” than remaining on the grid in 2024.

Lawson was called up at the last hour by Red Bull to replace Daniel Ricciardo following the latter’s crash in FP2 at Zandvoort in which the Aussie injured his left hand.

Ricciardo will likely remain out of commission until next month’s Qatar Grand Prix, which means that Lawson will likely enjoy two more races – Singapore and Suzuka – with AlphaTauri.

The 21-year-old was thrown in at the deep end at Zandvoort amid mixed track conditions and with no prior knowledge of his car or the tyres.

But four clean sessions in Monza in dry conditions saw him qualify a creditable P12 on Saturday while he finished his race just outside the points.

“Obviously a big adjustment and a lot to learn very quickly,” the Kiwi recounted ahead of his third Grand Prix this weekend in Singapore.

“I think Monza was a bit more straightforward too; track that I think I knew more and with more preparation, but then I think this weekend it’s a little bit more tricky, obviously a new track, but yeah, pretty excited.”

Lawson said there wasn’t one specific aspect of his experience so far that has stood out as his biggest challenge.

“Not really one thing, it’s a lot of things,” he added.

“The car is probably the biggest thing alone, but it’s stuff that comes with it like tyres, different compounds, running inters in Zandvoort, I hadn’t done that before, with a much bigger team – I think it’s a lot of things, not just one thing.”

Red Bull has yet to confirm the line-up for its sister squad for 2024, but with three quality drivers at its disposal – incumbent Yuki Tsunoda, F1 returnee Ricciardo and the talented Lawson – Helmut Marko will be thinking long and hard about his choice.

But Lawson can’t see himself competing anywhere else than in F1 next season.

“Now that I’ve had a taste, it’s definitely something I’ve fallen in love with,” he admitted. “I don’t think I can settle for anything less.

“I think it’s just making the most of this situation now. Basically, I guess, we’ll see what happens.

“It’s obviously very rare to get an opportunity to drive in Formula 1 now, so it’s just making the most of it.”

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