Williams vacancy for Lawson, not Schumacher – pundit

Liam Lawson is on the way into Formula 1, whilst Mick Schumacher is on the way out.

That’s the verdict of former F1 driver turned pundit Christian Danner, amid reports Haas refugee and current Mercedes reserve Schumacher looks likely to accept an offer to race in sportscars next year.

“In the two years that he drove in Formula 1, Mick left this impression on the team bosses – ‘Well, we don’t actually need him’,” Danner told sport.de.

He says that is in total contrast to the perception Liam Lawson has left bosses with after just a handful of stand-in drives for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.

“Liam drives a pretty bad car too but what did he do? He came out absolutely sparkling clean, faster than the regular driver, scoring points and showing in his first few grands prix ‘Hey guys, I can do it!'”

Danner said Schumacher failed to make the same kind of impression over two full racing seasons.

“Of course that now has long-term consequences,” he said. “There is no team boss who would have much confidence in him now.”

That includes the boss of the team with the only vacancy on the 2024 grid – Williams’ James Vowles.

At present, he is backing the struggling rookie Logan Sargeant – but only for now.

“When we signed Logan we were prepared to invest in his career and nothing has changed,” Vowles said. “Only if we came to the conclusion that there is no more progress would we look for an alternative.

“We’re a long way from that point.”

However, Danner thinks that if Vowles does ultimately look for that alternative, it would be Lawson rather than Schumacher.

“As long as Sergio Perez is not fired by Red Bull, Lawson will be free next year,” he said. “Then he drives for Williams for a year and then goes to Red Bull.”

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