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Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04
Autosport Plus
Special feature

How a devastating title loss steeled Red Bull’s latest charge for F1

Overtaken by Yuki Tsunoda in the Red Bull young driver queue on the way
to Formula 1, Liam Lawson has become battle-hardened in an eclectic
array of machinery while waiting for his F1 opportunity. JAMES NEWBOLD discovers that the variety
of experience, including the hardest of hard knocks in losing the 2021 DTM title, has been the making of him…

Liam Lawson’s Formula 1 debut couldn’t have come in much trickier circumstances. Dropped into an AlphaTauri at Zandvoort after Daniel Ricciardo shunted during second practice, breaking a bone in his left wrist, Lawson had a wet track to contend with in FP3 as he drove a ground-effect F1 car for the first time since last December’s Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi.

Matters didn’t get much easier on race day when rain hit shortly after the start, making it difficult for Lawson to gain confidence with his unfamiliar machine. But the 21-year-old Kiwi didn’t disgrace himself and kept it on the island in the late-race deluge when many more experienced drivers did not. Bringing the car home an undamaged 13th, he had every right to be “reasonably satisfied” with his day’s work.

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