Liam Lawson (Car #40)
Best time: 1:24.517 – Position: 2 – Laps: 125 (660.125km)
“What an amazing day, it’s incredible how unbelievably fast these cars are. I’ve obviously driven in the simulator before and when I’m there I always think that there’s no way that the car can actually be that quick in real life, but it really is. I want to say a huge thank you to Red Bull, Dr Marko and everyone that has made it possible to be here driving for Scuderia AlphaTauri today. This has been something that I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid so it’s just incredible and I’m really, really happy. I was definitely nervous pulling out of the garage for the first time, I tried not to show it, but I definitely felt it. It took me a little while to get to full throttle but when I did I thought ‘holy moly that’s a lot of power!’ The biggest difference is just the downforce, there’s significantly more than anything I’m used to. We worked on a lot of different things in the run plan today, both short and long runs with different tyres and one thing that was really cool and new to me was the live data. The ability to have the team update me as I’m out on track was something new to me. Getting feedback from Yuki too was also really great, we’ve been teammates before, so it was good to get his understandings and learnings and it was nice to be back driving with him again. I really didn’t want to get out of the car today, it’s been amazing to get my first taste of F1.”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“It was great to welcome Liam to the team to drive for us in the test here in Abu Dhabi! We completed a fantastic day of testing, covering a lot of kilometres in the car, so it should have been a very good learning experience for him. He adapted quickly to the handling and speed of the current Formula 1 machinery and after just the first couple of runs he had built up the pace to a level where we could start to complete some test items with him, to give him a feel of the car with a variety of car balances. We did the tests blind so that he had no preconceived ideas, and his technical feedback was targeted, focused on performance and aligned to the test items. Tyres are an important part of Formula 1, especially managing them over a race stint but also a single timed lap, so we exposed Liam to a variety of tyre status, run types and fuel loads. By the end of the day, he was able to manage and manipulate the temperatures to achieve the optimum lap time. It was a pleasure working with him and we can already see from this short working relationship that he has great potential and will have a very bright future in motorsport!”
Franz Tost (Team Principal)
“Liam Lawson drove for us today in the Young Driver test and I must say he did a very good job, finishing 125 laps without any issues and his lap time was very competitive. He gave us good feedback throughout the day, we ran a lot of different set-ups with him and have gathered lots of really strong data. This will help us further with the general understanding of the car, whilst we have a new car next year, all the data collected today will nevertheless help us in 2022. Liam did a really great job today.
Yuki was also on duty at the wheel and was responsible for the test programme with the new tyre that will run next year. We have collected a lot of important data there today and Pierre will conclude the test on the new 18” tyres tomorrow. This is the last test of the season and I want to say many thanks to the team for all their hard work after such a demanding season. The entire team has done a very good job.”