New Zealander Liam Lawson will take part in his first official F1 session in FP1 at Spa with AlphaTauri tomorrow. He’ll be taking Pierre Gasly’s car.
The highly rated 20-year-old Red Bull junior is currently 8th in the Formula 2 standings with four rounds left.
It’s not the first time in an F1 car for Lawson. He already did some running in the 2021 AlphaTauri during last year’s young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
“Very excited. Obviously a cool opportunity. Looking forward to it, honestly,” said Lawson when speaking to media at Spa today.
“I’ve only had one session in the car previously, so it’s going to be a big step – and of all the places, this is one of the highest equipment tracks you can drive on – but at the same time, a very iconic track. In a Formula One car, it will be very special.”
As is the case for any rookie in FP1, the 60-minute practice session will be focused on helping the team set the car up for the weekend ahead to be able to maximise the result on Sunday afternoon.
“The main thing is setting up their weekend in the best possible way. I am there to try and help with that," he said.
"At the same time, I am going to be learning as well, and they know that it is a big step. I think we’ll have a few things to try on the car to prepare for the rest of the weekend, I’ll try and just learn and do the best job I can.”
Formula 2 is also at Spa this weekend. The Carlin driver’s Friday will start with F2 practice on Friday morning, followed by his maiden FP1 appearance. He’ll then return to F2 for qualifying.
Lawson believes adjusting between the cars is going to be very tricky.
“It’ll be tough, for sure. The cars are very different to drive as well, so adjusting will be quite difficult,” he stated.
“It’s actually kinda nice I get to do free practice in F2 first, and then I get to go and see F1 afterwards, so at least I will have done (driving on) the track. But it’ll be a big adjustment going back (to F2) because we’ll go straight into qualifying.
“I’ll be doing through lots of data with the engineers on both sides to try and be as ready as possible.”
As for the future? “For me the main focus and what I’ve been told to focus on is Formula 2”.