F1: Helmut Marko names two candidates to replace de Vries

(GMM) Dr. Helmut Marko has singled out two contenders to potentially replace the struggling Formula 1 driver Nyck de Vries – and Mick Schumacher is not one of them.

It comes after outgoing Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost was already overruled in his desire to sign Schumacher late last year by Marko – who subsequently admitted he may have got the de Vries signing wrong.

In the meantime, 24-year-old Schumacher – as 2023 Mercedes reserve – recently tested not only the current Mercedes, but also a 2021 McLaren this week at Portimao.

But Red Bull’s Helmut Marko is also apparently not keen on bringing Daniel Ricciardo back to F1 in struggling Dutchman de Vries’ place at Alpha Tauri.

“We have two drivers ready to compete in Formula 1,” Helmut Marko told Servus TV. “Liam Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa.

“We are closely following the development of de Vries,” the 80-year-old added.

21-year-old New Zealander Lawson, currently a front-runner in the Japanese series Super Formula, appears to be the front-runner.

Liam Lawson #15 Team Mugen, photographed during the Japanese Super Formula Championship at Fuji Speedway, on April 8 and 10, 2023. // Dutch Photo Agency / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202304090142 // Usage for editorial use only //

He was Red Bull and Alpha Tauri’s reserve driver on site in Austria last weekend.

“The Super Formula races have big gaps between them so I can use the time here in Europe for my simulator work at Red Bull,” he told Speed Week this week.

“I can then be at 50 percent of the Formula 1 races. Living in Japan would be too difficult for that,” Lawson added.

However, he admitted he has “no idea” whether he is a candidate to be promoted to Formula 1.

“But I’m well-prepared if I get the call,” said Lawson. “Friday sessions are not fixed at the moment, but I very much hope something will come at some point.”

Ayumu Iwasa
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