Liam Lawson is grateful to Red Bull Racing for the rigorous training. The reserve driver of the Austrian racing team has received many phone calls in which he was told that he had to fear for his place within the junior team. This created immense pressure, but he says it helped him become a better driver. After all, Lawson wants to be prepared for the pressure that comes with Formula 1.
Lawson has been part of Red Bull’s junior program for five years. He experienced the demandingness of Helmut Marko, among others, up close. There is speculation that it is very tough and the driver can only confirm that. “It’s just the pressure you’re exposed to from a young age,” Lawson told the Herald. “When you’re 16 years old and you’re getting phone calls basically telling you that if you don’t perform in the next race you’ll be kicked out of the program, it’s obviously quite stressful.”
The New Zealander always did his best to remain stoic and not show his emotions. Lawson admits he certainly felt the pressure, but he is also grateful that the demands are so high with the Red Bull junior team. “I think if you experience that every year, especially from that age onwards, it definitely makes you a stronger driver, especially if you’re trying to break into Formula 1.” Lawson does not yet have a permanent seat in Formula 1, but he could fill in for Daniel Ricciardo for five races in 2023. Lawson scored two points for the then AlphaTauri during the Singapore Grand Prix.
Lawson: ‘Then you expect those kinds of calls’
After the races that Lawson was allowed to drive for AlphaTauri, he has received a lot of appreciation within the Formula 1 world. Nevertheless, the young driver will have a reserve role again next year. Lawson received many compliments last year, but that was not always the case. ‘But it’s not that it was unjustified either. If I make a mistake – and we all do sometimes – you expect one of those calls. There was always usually a good reason for it,” Lawson said.
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