Lawson and Hadjar to make F1 practice appearances – Tost

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost explains what Liam Lawson must do this year to earn a shot at Formula 1, and who will join him in the team’s practice sessions this year.

In brief

AlphaTauri have two drivers lined up for F1 practice this year

Lawson has moved up to Super Formula after taking five wins over two seasons in Formula 2. Tost said he needs to “win in Japan” to stand a chance of progressing to F1 in the near future.

“That’s important,” Tost said to media including RaceFans. “He has to show that he can do it. When he was testing for us, he did a reasonably good job.

“We have to give him time, we have to prepare him, and then we will see. At the end, I always say every driver has in his hands the career, whether he can come into F1 or whether for whatever reason he can’t do it.

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022
Unreliability affected Lawson’s practice run in Mexico
“A driver must live very professional, must do a lot of training, and must be then prepared in a real good way because nowadays F1 is really very competitive, and I could not tell you any driver who does not deserve to be in F1. And this has changed [from] the past.”

F1 teams are required to run drivers who have made fewer than three starts in practice sessions at two grands prix. Tost said his team’s plan plan is “currently Liam and [Isack] Hadjar, both of them” when it comes to calling up young drivers to drive for AlphaTauri in those sessions.

Hadjar finished fourth in Formula 3 last year and is stepping up to F2 for 2023. He has never driven an F1 car before.

Domenicali proud of F1’s “soft power” on human rights

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says he is proud of the changes the world championship has been able to influence in the various countries it has raced in around the world.

The political influence of F1 has been a topic of intense scrutiny this winter, with the FIA restricting competitors’ ability to make political statements at events while the championship itself has come under pressure for choosing to race in countries with concerning human rights records.

Domenicali says he “takes pride” in being able to “open up the discussion on issues in these places.”

“I know it is easy to criticise me but I have no fear because with soft power, I believe in the right context, in the right way, I can achieve results,” he told The Guardian.

Spanish talent heads to Japan for next career step

Junior single-seater racer David Vidales, who is managed by the same Monaco Increase Management (MIM) company that guides the career of 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou, has finalised a deal to move to Super Formula Lights for this year.

The 20-year-old made a stunning start to car racing by debuting in Formula Regional, rather than an entry-level formula, and winning his first race at Imola from pole position. He also won his second race, and came sixth in the 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup.

He remained at that level for 2021, and once again won at Imola en route to 10th in the Formula Regional European Championship standings. He stepped up to Formula 3 last year with Campos Racing and took a home win for himself and the team at Barcelona.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Although there’s still some uncertainty about who will be racing in one of the cars in this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, we do now have a fully confirmed grid when it comes to race engineers. Where drivers have changed teams they have mostly inherited the engineer of the driver they replaced, but in other roles there are individuals who follow drivers to new teams. One instance of this not being the case has caught the eye of a RaceFans reader.

While race engineers and mechanics always get a direct successor driver, personal trainers generally follow a single driver through all of their team changes. Therefore, I’m still slightly baffled that Pyry Salmela went against this general approach by merely switching his partner driver rather than following Gasly to Alpine. I guess he simply wanted to stay at Team Faenza and I wonder who’s Gasly’s new trainer.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jose Arellano, Becca Blue, Robert and Penny!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1981: Future IndyCar champion Will Power

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

11 comments on “Lawson and Hadjar to make F1 practice appearances – Tost”

  1. The same story every year that MPs want F1 to look into links between races & human rights violations.

    I enjoyed reading Albon’s Players’ Tribune post.

    I think I’ve received three COTDs quite close to each other.

  2. So going to these brutal dictatorships and justifying them by the presence of F1 is actually wielding soft power against them. Domenicali can justify just about anything then. Pure scum.

  3. That Domenicali article would be hilarious if the subject matter wasn’t so serious.

    Initially he insists that F1’s “soft power” allows it to effect real (but secret, of course) change in the countries it visits:

    To open up the discussion on issues in these places. I take pride in it. I know it is easy to criticise me but I have no fear because with soft power, I believe in the right context, in the right way, I can achieve results.

    Then, later on, he says that he cannot interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states:

    We see a country that is very keen to be open in discussion but they have their own duty, their own independence in which we cannot be involved. Otherwise in every country we would be discussing the governing process of a country.

    So which is it?

    (That’s a rhetorical question. We all know it’s the latter. The former is just the flimsiest of excuses for laundering the blood money of these foul regimes).

  4. I don’t know, I think they hanged/beheaded/stoned to death hundreds of people in S.A. since F1 held its first race there. The only difference is that now we hear mostly positive thing about that evil kingdom (not land or people, just the regime, the one that pays this Domenicali person) no matter what kind of bad things they do.

  5. F1 has bought ‘Soft Power’ towards Human Rights?

    What kind of BS is that? Even looking away from the Middle Eastern Races you still have Hungary with their Anti Trans legislation and Azerbaijan with their various human rights issues (including Torture).

    F1 moving countries away from Human Rights issues, smoke and mirrors more like.

  6. Those MPs probably dream of the glory days of the Empire and have trust funds filled to the brim with profits of slavery and imperialism.

  7. How about those MPs look into their own government handlers trying to jab everyone against their will over the last couple of years, if they want to ‘investigate’ human rights.

    You know, something a bit closer to home.

    But they won’t, because they are bought and paid for just like the majority of western governments.

  8. Great to hear that Isack Hadjar will be included in at least two AlphaTauri F1 practice sessions this year. He looked very strong and was exciting to watch in F3 last year before he bottled it under pressure in the last few races. He was so close to winning the championship. I am sure he is going to learn from that and come back strong in F2 this year.

  9. Soft Power sounds like something you pour into a sportswashing machine.

  10. Speaking of human rights and democratic ideals, does this so called “Lord” ever wonder if he and his unelected colleagues are doing their stated agenda a service, or rather the opposite?

  11. Neil (@neilosjames)
    1st March 2023, 18:40

    Domenicali has some sort of a point, but it’s not put across very well.

    F1 itself doesn’t have the power to drive change, but it (and any big sporting event) comes with a nice big spotlight that highlights all the human rights abuse, terrible gender equality, workers’ rights, press issues, etc. It’s the media and campaigners and NGOs and (some) governments that do that, not F1. F1 visits and only promotes itself and its host positively… if F1 provided the only coverage, everywhere it goes would be a land of sunshine and rainbows.

    A ‘sportswashing’ country wants to make the world (well, the rich countries, businesses and people) think “Hey, you know what, that country isn’t so different to mine, let’s consider it part of our exclusive rich country club and not as an exotic backwater”… but that doesn’t really work because the media/NGOs/campaigners ruin it by highlighting all the awful stuff. And that provides the incentive to make the awful stuff a bit less awful (even a tiny bit less), so Mr Spotlight will find nicer things next time. Usually it’s a shift from terrible to slightly less terrible, but it’s still a bit of a change.

    So F1 does have some ‘soft power’, in that it’s probably true that a repressive, rights-abusing country that has these big sporting events (eg, Saudi Arabia) is more likely to experience at least some sort of societal change than a repressive, rights-abusing country that doesn’t (eg, Turkmenistan). No one cares about Turkmenistan (sorry Turkmenistan, maybe you’re not Saudi-level but you were a handy example) because no one has a clue, but everyone cares about Saudi Arabia because it constantly puts itself in the ‘western’ public eye.

    But the media/NGOs/campaigners get credit for that, not a sport that takes the cash and does absolutely nothing but show off a beautifully crafted race track.

Comments are closed.