Liam Lawson has admitted ahead of Sunday’s 2023 Italian Grand Prix that becoming a Grand Prix driver has yet to sink in fully.
Lawson, who attended the Dutch GP as Red Bull’s reserve driver, was drafted into a race seat at AlphaTauri when Daniel Ricciardo was ruled out after a practice crash that damaged his hand.
After qualifying last, Lawson slowly progressed through the order, finishing a respectable 13th before getting a call-up for Monza.
“Probably not fully, but to be honest, [there has] just been so much work to that,” said Lawson exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “I guess all that sort of emotional stuff has to be put aside to be focused on what we’re doing.
“By the end of the race, I started to feel somewhat comfortable with the car and everything that was going on. Obviously, with Formula 1, there is a huge increase in speeds.
“But it’s everything else. That’s the hardest thing to get your head around [is] how complex the car is, all the options we have behind the wheel.”
Just to finish the goal of Zandvoort weekend
With no seat time before the final practice session, Lawson was thrown into the deep end at Zandvoort and had limited time to understand the AlphaTauri.
Lawson did spin in tricky conditions during FP3, but without picking up any damage, and after the spin, he had a trouble-free weekend, keeping the car out of the barriers.
“I think the target was to finish all 72 laps, and that was all we spoke about,” said Lawson. “It was hard at the start to [set] expectations, we knew what conditions were looking like was very up in the air.
“It definitely would have been a massive waste to have an incident or not do the full race, especially knowing that we were probably going into this weekend to [just] drive the car.
“So it was more to use it to get familiar and try and prepare for this weekend and do some laps in the dry.”