In a significant development, Red Bull has roped in Liam Lawson as a replacement for their reserve driver Juri Vips. Vips was terminated from Red Bull’s contract in the days before the British Grand Prix after the racer allegedly made a racial slur while playing an online game. Red Bull has now promoted Liam, who is a native of New Zealand, and already has scored two wins and seven podiums in Formula 2.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner confirmed that Lawson, who races for Carlin will take over as reserve driver duties. “Liam Lawson steps into that role, obviously following the Juri Vips announcement,” said Horner.
The team principal also informed that the management is closely observing the performance of Jehan Daruvala, terming him as a strong prospect in the future. “We are just following his progress with interest, as well as Dennis Hauger as well, as qualifying for super licenses. That’s our coverage at this point,” he stated.
He further informed that Ayumu Iwaza is also showing great potential in Formula 2. “In Formula 3, it’s great to see Jonny Edgar back after illness. Isack Hadjar is doing a super job as well, so we have got no shortage of talent coming through from Karting through the different formulae,” he said.
Notably, Red Bull are unlikely to have any F1 race seats available next season. This means that the main purpose of having backups is to cover for the already established names and compete in case the preferred names are not able to race.