F1 debut a “crazy experience” for Lawson

F1 debut a “crazy experience” for Lawson

New Zealander Liam Lawson made his Formula 1 debut with AlphaTauri at Spa-Francorchamps, while also maintaining his commitments with Carlin.

Fresh from practice for Round 11 of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 season, Red Bull Junior Team driver Lawson hopped into the AT03 of Pierre Gasly and completed 14 laps, with a best time of 1:52.065 in FP1.

Lawson, 20, said: “I’ve enjoyed getting to drive the car around such an iconic track, it’s been a crazy experience.”

The outing marked Lawson’s first F1 experience following his promotion to Red Bull Reserve Driver, following the sacking of Jüri Vips in June.

“The car was great to drive, the limit is so much further than I was ready for,” explained the Carlin driver, adding: “It took a bit of time to get used to that, but I built up the pace steadily on the Hards and was ready to push on the Softs at the end.”

Unfortunately, Lawson did not get to set a lap on the softest available Pirelli rubber as rain falling in the final minutes made the track very tricky to drive.

The Kiwi was quite to thank AlphaTauri and Red Bull for the opportunity and was able to explain one of the differences between an F1 and an F2 team.

“It’s a crazy step up from F2. There’re so many more people than I’m used to, but having this opportunity is really great for us young drivers so we can understand what it’s like in an F1 team.”

If and when Lawson will get another chance to drive an F1 car is unknown but the 20-year-old concluded his thoughts by saying: “I’ve loved every second of today.”

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