Liam’s second outing with Scuderia AlphaTauri in an FP1 session at Mexico came to a fiery end when the car’s brakes caught on fire but not before the young Kiwi had put in some impressive performances.
With 40 minutes of the hour session completed and after all of the drivers had run on the hard compound tyres, Liam was 11th overall – sandwiched between Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton. He was well ahead of Nyck De Vries (Mercedes) in 17th as the next-best rookie driver.
None of the five rookie drivers were given a run on the soft tyres, so by the end of FP1 Liam was the top rookie in 16th with a time 1:23.861. Then came his current F2 teammate Logan Sargeant (Williams) 1:24.246; De Vries 1:24.582; Jack Doohan (Alpine) 1:24.615; Pietro Fittipaldi (Haas) 1:26.766.
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“It was great to have Liam back driving for us in FP1, this time taking over Yuki’s car. He did a very good job, particularly as he only ran a single hard tyre in that session. He got quickly up to speed and was setting competitive lap times even against the experienced drivers.
“We had several aero test items which we completed with him and captured very good data to help us with the setup direction. His running came to an end just before the end of the session, as we spotted a loss of pressure, but the mechanics did a great job to get the car repaired and ready for Yuki for FP2.”
Liam Lawson (AT03-03, Car 40)
First Practice Session – Best lap: 1:23.861, pos. 16th, 19 laps
“It’s been great to be back on track with Scuderia AlphaTauri after my last shot out in Spa. This time we played a bit more with set-up changes, as the more I drive the car the more accurate feedback I can give. Due to the Pirelli test in FP2 we saved a set of tyres for that, so I only ran on one set, which I believe most the juniors did today.
“It’s a really interesting circuit. I’d been on the sim a lot obviously, but when I first drove it was quite eye opening, there’s very low grip and it’s extremely slippery, especially through some of the high-speed areas. Driving through the stadium though was crazy, the atmosphere is incredible, even when I had to stop the car there, they were all cheering. Sadly, we had to stop because we had a loss of pressure. However, I was able to complete most of the session anyway, so it didn’t impact too much.”