Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen to hand car over to Lawson for first practice session · RaceFans

Liam Lawson, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2022

Red Bull has confirmed Liam Lawson will drive Max Verstappen’s car during the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tomorrow.

Verstappen has to sit out tomorrow’s opening hour of practice in order for Red Bull to comply with new regulations introduced for this season which requires them to run an inexperienced driver in each of their cars in at least one session over the course of the season.

Sergio Perez sat out first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix in May. Juri Vips drove his car but was dropped as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver the following month after using a racial slur during a live broadcast.

Lawson was installed as Vips’ replacement and has driven in practice for AlphaTauri twice already this year, though he did not cover the 100 kilometres required to score an FIA superlicence point on either occasion. He will also compete in this weekend’s Formula 2 round at the circuit, where he lies seventh in the standings.

Five other teams will also fulfil their requirement to run two junior drivers over the season this weekend. Pato O’Ward will make his first appearance in an official F1 session at the wheel of Lando Norris’ McLaren. Another debutant, Felipe Drugovich, will be at the wheel of Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin.

Robert Shwartzman will take over Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Ferrari, Jack Doohan will drive Fernando Alonso’s Alpine and Pietro Fittipaldi will run in Mick Schumacher’s Haas.

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F1 teams’ mandatory junior driver practice schedules

Team Event Driver Event Driver
Mercedes French Grand Prix Nyck de Vries Mexican Grand Prix Nyck de Vries
Red Bull Spanish Grand Prix Juri Vips Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Liam Lawson
Ferrari United States Grand Prix Robert Shwartzman Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Robert Shwartzman
McLaren United States Grand Prix Alex Palou Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pato O’Ward
Alpine Mexico City Grand Prix Jack Doohan Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Jack Doohan
AlphaTauri Belgian Grand Prix Liam Lawson Mexican Grand Prix Liam Lawson
Aston Martin Italian Grand Prix Nyck de Vries Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Felipe Drugovich
Williams Spanish Grand Prix Nyck de Vries United States Grand Prix Logan Sargeant
Alfa Romeo Bahrain Grand Prix Zhou Guanyu United States Grand Prix Theo Pourchaire
Haas Mexican Grand Prix Pietro Fittipaldi Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pietro Fittipaldi

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