Home Featured Liam Lawson to make F1 debut at Zandvoort after Ricciardo injury

Liam Lawson to make F1 debut at Zandvoort after Ricciardo injury

by Peter Allen

Photo: Red Bull

Liam Lawson will make his Formula 1 debut in the Dutch Grand Prix after being called up to replace the injured Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri for the rest of the weekend.

Ricciardo has broken a metacarpal on his left hand after a crash in the second free practice session at Zandvoort on Friday. Lawson was at the circuit on duty as reserve driver for Red Bull and its sister team, although reports suggested that Nyck de Vries – who was dropped to make way for Ricciardo a couple of races ago – could also have been given the chance to contest his home grand prix.

Lawson is racing in Japan’s Super Formula series this year, where he is currently second in the standings and fighting for the title with Ritomo Miyata and Tomoki Nojiri with one double-header round at Suzuka in October remaining.

He impressively won his debut race at Fuji in April, and won there again last month following a second victory at Autopolis. His title hopes did take a hit in last weekend’s race at Motegi after a dramatic first-lap crash.

Lawson spent the previous two seasons in Formula 2, also winning his debut race there in Bahrain at the start of 2021 before finishing third in the 2022 points.

Having started racing cars aged just 13 in Formula First in his native New Zealand, Lawson went on to win the country’s Formula Ford 1600 title before racing Formula 4 in Australia and then Germany’s ADAC series, finishing runner-up in both.

He then won the 2019 Toyota Racing Series at the first attempt against his more experienced compatriot Marcus Armstrong, catching the eye of Red Bull which facilitated a dual programme in FIA Formula 3 and Euroformula Open. A second year in F3 yielded fifth overall before stepping up to both F2 and DTM, where he narrowly missed out on winning the 2021 crown.

Lawson will be reunited with his former Euroformula team-mate and rival Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri line-up. He drove in F1 free practice sessions with the team at Spa and Mexico City last year, and with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi.

However, he had yet to appear on track for either team so far this season, and will drive the AT04 for the first time in Saturday morning’s third practice session before going into qualifying.