Liam Lawson will make his Formula 1 debut on Friday, as Alpha Tauri have announced that the Carlin star will take over the reins of the AT03 for the opening Free Practice session at Spa-Francorchamps.

The New Zealander will be getting behind the wheel of Pierre Gasly’s car and running alongside Formula 2 alumni Yuki Tsunoda, as part of the two young driver sessions F1 teams are required to run this season.

“Super excited to say I’ll be doing my first FP1 this weekend in Spa,” said Lawson. “I honestly couldn’t think of a better place to do it, it’s going to be a very exciting feeling. It’s a historic track and a place that I’ve always enjoyed driving, so in a Formula 1 car it’s gonna be incredible.

“I’ve been doing a lot of sim work over the year as well leading up to this, so I think the prep has been really, really good. Obviously, I had my first outing last year in December and since then, honestly, I’ve been dying to get back in the car.”

With two wins and six podiums to his name in his 2022 F2 campaign so far, the 20-year-old currently sits eighth in the Drivers’ Championship.

Part of their junior programme since 2019, the Red Bull and Alpha Tauri reserve driver got his first taste of F1 machinery with the Italian team last year during the post-season Young Drivers’ Test in Abu Dhabi and will now be taking to the track following Formula 2’s Practice session around the Belgian circuit.