Liam’s first FP1 session with the championship winning Red Bull team came at the season ending Abu Dhabi race, also the final round of the FIA Formula 2 championship. And he was in Max Verstappen’s championship winning car!
From the outset Liam was immediately on the pace on the Hard tyres setting some benchmark times as he shadowed ‘teammate’ Sergio Perez throughout the session, running as high as third-fastest before the track evolved and drivers set about using the softer compound tyres. He returned to the garage for an extended period of time right on the halfway mark. He rejoined on Hards once again before switching to the Softs and then ending the session an impressive P5, 1min 27.201sec and only five-tenths off the top spot. Liam’s time was just two-tenths shy of Perez’s best effort for 4th place.
Liam was praised by world champion Max Verstappen for his performance in his car. “I think the car is in a good window,” said Max after the session. “Liam did a very good job in FP1, just calm and steady.”
“What an emotional day, I dreamt of driving for this team since I was a kid. Thank you Oracle Red Bull Racing for giving me this chance, loved every second of it,” said Liam afterwards.
“I was a little bit nervous before the session, but the car is really good, so I felt comfortable straight away. We managed to get quite a lot of laps in on both the hards and the softs, at the moment there’s a big jump between the two tyre types. It was great to get the opportunity to try out the softs.”
“I drove the AlphaTauri in Mexico but it’s difficult to compare the two as Mexico is a completely different track and at a much higher altitude. Today was a great day and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”