Formula One

Ricciardo sidelined with injury, Liam Lawson to make F1 debut – Lawson’s driver profile

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Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

On just his third weekend back in Formula 1, Daniel Ricciardo will be sidelined for the Dutch Grand Prix, following a crash during the second free practice session on Friday. Liam Lawson will take over the seat and will make his Formula 1 debut.

Ricciardo locked up at Turn 3 and crashed into the wall early in the session as he was trying to avoid Oscar Piastri. The rookie had crashed at the corner just moments earlier, with his McLaren resting sideways on the track. Unsighted in the tricky corner and with the yellow flags coming out after he committed in the corner, Ricciardo had no time to react.

Significantly, Ricciardo was holding onto his steering wheel throughout the entire sequence of events. As his left front wheel impacted the tyre barrier, the steering wheel snapped and twisted his hand. After a trip to the medical center, Ricciardo was sent for further examination at a local hospital, where his left metacarpal was found to be broken.

Of course, that means that Ricciardo will be unable to complete the weekend and will be replaced for the race at Zandvoort at the very least. What happens for the upcoming races, starting with next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, remains to be seen.

The driver who will take over the Alpha Tauri seat will not be Nyck de Vries, who Ricciardo replaced after the British Grand Prix, but Liam Lawson. The 21-year-old will make his Formula 1 debut this weekend, an exciting opportunity for the highly-talented young driver.

Who is Liam Lawson?

Liam Lawson will make his F1 debut this weekend
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Liam Lawson is a 21-year-old driver from New Zealand, with impressive pedigree in his career so far. The Kiwi joined the Red Bull Junior Team in 2019, a year after moving to Europe in order to chase his Formula 1 dream.

After a mediocre first season in Formula 3, Lawson improved drastically in 2020 with three wins and performances good enough to help him move up to Formula 2. After winning on debut, the rest of the season did not pan out well for the young driver, who finished the season in ninth.

In the same season, he also raced in the DTM, where he comfortably outperformed his teammate, Alexander Albon. He controversially lost the title after getting taken out by his title rival, Kelvin van der Linde, in the final race of the season and he was second in the final standings.

Last season, Lawson competed in his second season of Formula 2, where he won four races and stepped on the podium six more times times en route to third in the standings. However, it was decided that he would not continue in the series for a third consecutive season.

This season, he is competing over in Japan, in the highly-regarded Super Formula series. As a rookie, he has been impressive, winning three of his first eight races. He is second in the standings and remains firmly in championship contention with two races remaining, despite a bad result following a crash last weekend.

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