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Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04
Autosport Plus
Formula 1 Dutch GP
Analysis

How Lawson stayed afloat in his sudden F1 debut

Liam Lawson's Formula 1 debut was a sudden affair that dropped him into a very difficult set of circumstances. But the Kiwi driver rose to the challenge valiantly, making no fool of himself as he got to grips with the AlphaTauri at the Dutch Grand Prix

Amid the early Dutch Grand Prix media sessions, Daniel Ricciardo felt that his surprise Formula 1 return in Hungary had been straight in at the deep end. A day in a Red Bull RB19 and a handful of time in AlphaTauri's simulator served as his preparation as a replacement for Nyck de Vries - the Dutchman ousted at AlphaTauri following the British Grand Prix.

If Ricciardo's return was in at the deep end, Liam Lawson's F1 debut was like being airdropped in the middle of the Atlantic without a floatation device to hand. The news that Ricciardo had broken his metacarpal in a Turn 3 crash in Friday's second practice session, while trying to evade Oscar Piastri's crashed McLaren, prompted fleeting suggestions that de Vries might be pressed back into service.

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