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Liam Lawson to make second F1 start with AlphaTauri at Italian GP

by Ida Wood

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

A day after making his Formula 1 race debut, Liam Lawson has been announced as driving for AlphaTauri again at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Lawson drove in two practice sessions for the team in 2022, and has served as their reserve driver this year while also racing in Super Formula where he is fighting for the title with thee wins from seven races so far.

He was not expecting to race in F1 this year, have been overlooked to replace Nyck de Vries when AlphaTauri dropped him last month. The team instead chose Daniel Ricciardo, but last Friday he broke his left hand in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and Lawon was brought in at late notice to take his place for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday’s practice session marked his first ever running in the AlphaTauri AT04 and he was 18th fastest, but in qualifying he ended up down in 20th and last place. In Sunday’s race, which marked his first experience of driving an F1 car in the wet, he finished 13th. “That was wild… first grand prix done, still doesn’t feel real,” he said afterwards.

Ricciardo had surgery on his wrist this morning, and AlphaTauri sent Lawson to their simulator back in Italy to prepare for this weekend’s race at Monza in case he would be needed again. Confirmation came in the afternoon that Ricciardo would be absent, despite successful surgery, and that Lawson would be making his second F1 start.