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Driving Sebastian Vettel’s Title-Winning Car, Liam Lawson Lost to Moto GP Star Dani Pedrosa

Anirban Aly Mandal

Driving Sebastian Vettel’s Title-Winning Car, Liam Lawson Lost to Moto GP Star Dani Pedrosa

Red Bull has a rich legacy in motorsport, not just Formula 1. Last year, the energy drinks conglomerate decided to pit their racing machines across three disciplines of motorsport against each other. It was time to test their World Rally Championship, MotoGP, and Formula 1 prowess.

In the end, over a three-race battle, it was really a fight between Liam Lawson and Dani Pedrosa. Lawson, who made his F1 debut last year as a cameo for the AlphaTauri team (now V-CARB) was strapped into Sebastian Vettel’s 2012 title-winning RB8. Three-time champion, Pedrosa was mounted on the Red Bull KTM RC16.

Throughout three drag races, the MotoGP bike of Pedrosa had the legs over its competition. The 1000cc beast left the V8-powered RB8 of Lawson in the dust, particularly as it got off the line. In the end, Pedrosa was dubbed the Ultimate Race Winner by Red Bull on their YouTube channel.

Lawson has quickly become a very popular face in the motorsport world. After Daniel Ricciardo injured his wrist during a freak accident at the 2023 Dutch GP, Lawson was drafted into the team as a temporary replacement. His performances in the handful of races he entered impressed the F1 paddock and the wider motor racing world.

He really signaled his intent to challenge for a full-time spot on the grid at the 2023 Singapore GP. Not only did he out-qualify and knock Max Verstappen out of Q2, but the young Kiwi driver then went on to secure his first-ever points in F1 at the Grand Prix.

Has Liam Lawson made a case for Red Bull to sign him for 2025?

His cameo last year has left many team insiders impressed. While speaking to The SportsRush in an exclusive interview, his performance engineer, Pyry Salmela praised his performance at the 2023 Qatar GP.  He said, “Liam actually did actually surprisingly well compared to what I heard from some, some others. You can really see that there’s like a good mindset.”

His performances against his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda were also stellar. He outscored the young Japanese driver and beat him in a race head-to-head (4-1). However, Tsunoda did suffer one DNF and one DNS during that time. Given how Tsunoda has been performing this year, Lawson’s performances against him are a feather in the cap for the New Zealander.

Naturally, Lawson expects to be considered by the team. But he is prepared to take his talent elsewhere if Red Bull don’t promote him soon. RacingNews365 quoted him saying that while his dream is to drive for Red Bull, his career ambition is to be in F1. If it’s not with the Bulls, he doesn’t mind trying his luck elsewhere.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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