Liam Lawson made his very first run at the wheel of a Formula 1 today at Spa, with AlphaTauri, during Free Practice 1 during which he replaced Pierre Gasly.
The New Zealand driver, 8th in the F2 championship, needed a few laps to adapt to the AT03 but his session went off without a hitch. Even if it was unfortunately disrupted by a red flag and then the appearance of rain at the end of the session.
« It was a crazy experience regardless, » Lawson said. « It’s a shame we couldn’t use the soft tire at the end, I felt good after ten laps with the hard guys but I wasn’t attacking, just trying to get used to it. »
« The limit is so much further than what you are used to in these cars, and it took me a bit of time to adapt, but everything went well. I am really grateful to Red Bull and AlphaTauri for giving me this opportunity. »
« At the end of the session, I was really starting to feel comfortable. The tires were degrading because we had already been driving for a while, but I was ready to put on the softs and try a fast lap. »
« It’s really cool » he adds, referring to his weekend spent with the Italian team. « It’s definitely the top step, and allowing us to ride is a big help for young riders. »
« These cars are so much more advanced, they take a lot more time to prepare because everything is so complicated. It took me a while to get the ideas in place, and I spent last night reading the manual for instructions. »
Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda went there with their advice to help the New Zealander in his learning.
« Of course I have known Yuki for a few years, we were teammates in the past. And I was also able to spend time with Pierre this weekend. They were both a great help. »