Liam Lawson will make his Formula 1 race weekend debut in FP1 at the Belgian Grand Prix for AlphaTauri.
The New Zealander is in his second season in Formula 2 and currently eighth in the championship with two victories to his name, following an impressive season in DTM last year in which he controversially missed out on the championship as a rookie at the final round.
Lawson currently fulfills reserve duties for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri after Juri Vips was let go for using a racial slur in an online gaming session earlier this year, and the 20-year-old will now get his first taste of the 2022 cars at Spa-Francorchamps.
“I honestly couldn’t think of a better place to do it, it’s going to be a very exciting feeling,” Lawson said. “A historic track, and a place that I’ve always enjoyed driving so in a Formula 1 car it’s going to be incredible.
“I’ve been doing a lot of sim work over the year as well leading up to this, so I think the prep has been really, really good.
“I had my first outing last year in December and since then, honestly, I’ve been dying to be back in the car. So I’m really, really excited.”
Speaking in an online AlphaTauri video, Lawson admitted he struggled with his seating position during the young driver test in Abu Dhabi last year but has rectified that for his next opportunity.
“The last time I did the seat fit at the end of last year I messed up the first one, it wasn’t quite perfect and we had to change a few things. Normally I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to seats, I have a bit of OCD on how symmetrical it needs to be, and today – for the first time ever – it was perfectly symmetrical and really, really nice to sit in. So that was definitely a success!”
Lawson will take over Pierre Gasly’s car as the first of AlphaTauri’s two mandatory FP1 rookie outings.