Despite a string of impressive performances as an injury replacement with AlphaTauri, Kiwi Liam Lawson has reportedly been overlooked for a fulltime Formula One drive wiht the team in 2024.
While Lawson, 21, has made a strong case to earn a seat on the 2024 F1 grid, German outlet Auto Motor Sport indicates the Kiwi will not be considered to remain in the AlphaTauri cockpit.
Instead, Red Bull will continue with their current driver pairing of Japan's Yuki Tsunoda and Australian fan-favourite Daniel Ricciardo.
Newshub understands official confirmation of the team line-up will come this week, with Tsunoda taking centrestage at Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix and Lawson remaining with AlphaTauri, due to Ricciardo's broken hand.
The news will be a huge blow to the Kiwi hopeful, who has finished ahead of Tsunoda in all three races he has driven so far this season.
Lawson earned his first points by finishing ninth at the Singapore Grand Prix, meaning he has scored 40 percent of all of AlphaTauri's points so far this year.
After Singapore, Red Bull are understood to remain huge admirers of the Kiwi rookie, with AlphaTauri chief executive Peter Bayer saying: "We are very happy with the performance.
"We're happy with Liam's performance, he fought like a lion."
Both Nyck de Vries (10 races) and Ricciardo (two races) failed to score in their respective time with AlphaTauri this year, while the ninth-placed finish is one higher than Tsunoda has achieved all season.
Lawson has been a revelation for the sister outfit of motorsport giants Red Bull, since stepping into the AlphaTauri car at the last minute for Ricciardo at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
With limited practice time and qualifying last on the grid, Lawson impressed in his Formula One debut, finishing 13th in a car he'd never driven before.
A week later, Lawson showed it was no fluke, finishing 11th at the Italian Grand Prix, before last weekend's display that also saw him qualify ahead of world champion Max Verstappen.
Lawson will remain with AlphaTauri until Ricciardo has fully recovered, which could mean taking part in the Qatar Grand Prix on October 9 (NZ time), before returning to his commitments in Japan's Super Formula series, where he sits eight points off the championship lead, heading into the final round.