LOSAIL, Qatar — Liam Lawson found out he would continue to race for AlphaTauri at the Qatar Grand Prix via an unexpected FaceTime from Daniel Ricciardo.

Lawson deputised for Ricciardo at the previous four races after the Australian driver broke a bone in his hand in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.

Ricciardo had originally targeted Qatar as his comeback but it now looks likely he will be back for the U.S. and Mexico double header of races on Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.

Lawson said Ricciardo called him out of the blue to confirm he would stay in the car.

“On Monday I was sitting at lunch and I had a random number call me and it was a FaceTime,” Lawson said on Thursday.

“I was really confused because people don’t just FaceTime randomly, so I answered it and it was just Daniel’s face!

“He basically said that he thought he’d let me have another weekend. Obviously good to be back, good to be in the car this weekend. I’m excited.”

Shortly after Lawson’s comments, Ricciardo posted a selfie from Red Bull’s UK factory at Milton Keynes, with the caption: “Another day on the sim. Getting closer. See y’all in Austin.”

AlphaTauri has already confirmed Ricciardo will stay in place at the team in 2024 alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

Lawson, who has impressed in his stand-in role, will be Red Bull’s reserve driver next year.

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