Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA
Formula 1 Dutch GP

Who is Liam Lawson? Ricciardo F1 Dutch GP replacement

Liam Lawson is set to make his first Formula 1 race start at Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix after Daniel Ricciardo was ruled out with an injured hand. 

Liam Lawson, Team Mugen

The 21-year-old took part in three F1 practice sessions last season, two for AlphaTauri and one for Red Bull, but will step up to make his racing debut at Zandvoort with the Italian squad. 

The Red Bull junior will step into fellow Antipodean Ricciardo's seat after he was injured during FP2 on Friday, crashing at Turn 3 before sheepishly emerging while clutching his left arm. 

Having gone to hospital for further checks, it was later discovered that he had broken his hand, ruling him out ahead of Saturday and Sunday's action. 

Who is Liam Lawson?

Liam Lawson is a 21-year-old racing driver from Pukekohe, New Zealand. 

He serves as the reserve driver for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri Formula 1 teams and has done so since the middle of the 2022 season. 

Lawson currently races for Team Mugen in Super Formula, where he is second in the standings. He has won three races so far this year, in his first season in the Japanese series.

Liam Lawson, TEAM MUGEN

Liam Lawson, TEAM MUGEN

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

What is his racing background?

Prior to driving in Super Formula, Lawson raced in Formula 2 from 2021-2022, first with Hitech Grand Prix before moving to Rodin Carlin for his second season. 

He finished ninth in his rookie season, with one win, three podiums and one pole position, taking his sole victory on debut in the Bahrain sprint race. 

Also in 2021 Lawson also contested in the DTM and narrowly missed out on the title, driving for Red Bull AF Corse in a hotly contested campaign alongside team-mate and current Williams F1 driver Alex Albon

He finished second after becoming an innocent victim of an opening-lap collision triggered by his championship rival Kelvin van der Linde in the final race at the Norisring. 

With his Ferrari suffering severe suspension damage and lapping at the rear of the field, the Kiwi helplessly watched on as Maximilian Gotz snatched the title from his grasp with the help of team orders from Mercedes

In his second F2 season, he finished third in the standings behind champion Felipe Drugovich and runner-up Theo Pourchaire, winning four races and scoring 10 podiums. 

Before graduating to F2, he spent two years in Formula 3. He took two podiums in his rookie season with MP Motorsport in 2019, finishing 11th overall. 

Race winner Liam Lawson, Carlin

Race winner Liam Lawson, Carlin

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

That season, he was also the Toyota Racing Series champion with M2 Competition, with five wins and 11 podiums to his name. Lawson moved to Hitech for his second year of F3 in 2020, scoring three wins and six podiums to finish fifth overall. 

Earlier in his career, he was the 2017 Australian F4 runner-up with Team BRM, and in 2018 drove in both ADAC F4 and Asian F3, finishing second and eighth respectively. 

When did his association with Red Bull begin?

Lawson joined the Red Bull Junior Team in February 2019, aged 17, and is the second-longest standing member after F2 driver Dennis Hauger. 

He is part of the team alongside F2 drivers Hauger, Jak Crawford, Enzo Fittipaldi, Isack Hadjar, Ayumu Iwasa and Zane Maloney, and F3 driver Sebastian Montoya. 

Also in the junior team are GB3 driver Souta Arao, Italian and UAE F4 driver Arvid Lindblad and karter Enzo Tarnvanichkul. 

Lawson was recruited after his dominant Toyota Racing Series victory in 2019, beating then-Ferrari protege and now IndyCar driver Marcus Armstrong to the crown. 

It was Red Bull who guided Lawson to compete in Super Formula, following in the footsteps of former Red Bull juniors Pierre Gasly, Dan Ticktum and Lucas Auer. 

Liam Lawson, Red Bull Racing RB18

Liam Lawson, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Off the back of his early success in Super Formula, Lawson had been thought of as a contender to make the step up to F1 as early as this year in the event that Red Bull elected to replace Nyck de Vries amid the rookie's struggles. 

But Ricciardo was instead given the nod to step in for de Vries for the final 12 races of the 2023 campaign, with AlphaTauri making it clear it favoured an experienced driver to help lift it out of its current slump. 

However, Lawson says his goal remains to use his performances in Japan to convince Red Bull he is worthy of a step up in 2024.

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Ricciardo out of F1 Dutch GP with injured hand, Lawson to sub
Next article Ferrari risks missing Q3 as high-downforce struggles continue - Sainz

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA