16 Jan 2021

Young Kiwi a step closer to F1

9:37 am on 16 January 2021

Up and coming New Zealand driver Liam Lawson has continued his rise within Red Bull Motorsport's junior programme.

Liam Lawson #5 Hitech GP, poses for a portrait during round four of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Silverstone, Great Britain in August, 2020.

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency/Red Bull Content Pool

Lawson, 18, has been named in the Hitech GP team for the 2021 Formula 2 Championship, graduating from F3.

He finished fifth in the F3 Championship in 2020, with three wins.

"I'm excited to be racing in F2 with Hitech this year. Following two years of Formula 3, I feel prepared to be in this championship and do a good job for the team," Lawson said.

"F2 has some very experienced drivers and only a handful of rookies this year so it will be a tough championship. There are some new tracks for me as well so really looking forward to racing at places like Monaco."

Lawson tested a Hitech GP Formula 2 car in Bahrain in early December, and posted a third quickest time of the 22 runners and was regularly in the top-six, the fastest of the rookie drivers.

Liam Lawson #5 Hitech Grand Prix, performs during the pre-season test of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Bahrain International Circuit on March 1-3, 2020.

Liam Lawson at pre-season testing for the 2020 Formula 3 Championship. Photo: Dutch Photo Agency/Red Bull Content Pool

"I learned a lot in the test and had a good feeling with the car.

"This being said, there's definitely still a lot more to learn, so I am looking forward to the challenge ahead."

The opening round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship is set to take place in Bahrain, 26-28 March.

Unlike previous years, the 2021 F2 calendar will have three races per weekend instead of two, the final race of the weekend featuring a mandatory pitstop and tyre change. Two of the three races will have reverse grid starts.

Liam Lawson will also race in Germany's touring car series this year in a yet to be named GT3 team, along with sidelined Red Bull F1 driver Alex Albon.