Exclusive: What Daniel Ricciardo told Liam Lawson ahead of shock F1 debut

Thomas Maher
Liam Lawson enters the F1 paddock for the first time as a full-fledged F1 driver

Liam Lawson has revealed how a “super supportive” Daniel Ricciardo made himself available to help the New Zealander get to grips with his sudden F1 debut at AlphaTauri.

Lawson received a shock call to deputise for Ricciardo after a Friday practice crash at Zandvoort resulted in Ricciardo needing surgery on a broken hand, ruling him out for the rest of the Dutch Grand Prix, the upcoming race weekend at Monza, and potential beyond.

That means Lawson has an amazing opportunity to showcase his talent for a potential full-time spot on the F1 grid, perhaps as early as next season, and the 21-year-old sat down with us at Monza to discuss what has been a whirlwind seven days.

Liam Lawson: It was an anxious two-hour wait

“It was very sudden,” Lawson exclusively told PlanetF1.com.

“Obviously it is never a situation [that you want to be in] and I feel for Daniel [Ricciardo]. I didn’t want to make my debut in Formula 1 in that kind of style, but obviously, when you have that opportunity, you need to take it.

“When I found out what the injury was, and that there was a very good chance he wasn’t going to be able to drive, then it was just very anxious for two hours before we actually made the decision. We had to wait for everything to be 100% sure [about Daniel].

“Those two hours were quite stressful just because I didn’t know what was going to happen. And then once it’s confirmed, maybe another hour of stress after but then we had so much to do to prepare for driving so eventually it was taken over by the workload that you have to go through.”

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问他是否有任何沟通与Ricciardofter learning he would be taking his seat for the foreseeable future, Lawson revealed: “Daniel being the amazing guy that he is, he was super supportive.

“Basically before he left to go have surgery, he was still on the track and he was very supportive.

“他告诉我要充分利用它,如果我需要一个y help then to ask him. He was very, very good about it.

Naturally the questions surrounding Lawson are quickly turning towards his long-term F1 future and how this mini-spell with AlphaTauri until Ricciardo makes a full recovery could seriously improve his chances of being a mainstay on the grid.

Asked how he is approaching this sudden audition, Lawson is just trying to take it one race at a time.

“Any time you drive in F1, I guess it’s an audition for full time. Whenever you get put in the situation, you get one shot, you don’t get to do this again.

“I’m just looking at it race by race right now. It’s just this weekend. It’s all I’m doing and that’s what the whole focus is on. Right now the focus is on FP1 and then beyond that for the rest of the weekend. So yeah, definitely not looking too far ahead at the moment.”

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