Everything we know about Liam Lawson’s Red Bull F1 test at Silverstone

What we know about Liam Lawson's Silverstone test outing in Red Bull's current F1 car.

Liam Lawson (NZL) RB Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Practice
Liam Lawson (NZL) RB Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9,…

Red Bull’s reserve driver Liam Lawson is getting behind the wheel of their current F1 car at Silverstone today. Here’s what we know about the outing.

Lawson, who impressed in a five-round cameo for AlphaTauri (now RB) last season when Daniel Ricciardo was ruled out with injury, will get a chance to sample Red Bull’s 2024 challenger at Silverstone in a filming day today.

It will mark the second of Red Bull’s two permitted promotional days of the year. Lawson will be restricted to just 200km - the equivalent of 33 laps around the British Grand Prix venue’s international layout - of running on specifically designed Pirelli tyres which differ to the compounds used on a standard grand prix weekend.

Much hype has surrounded Lawson’s test given the speculation which is intensifying over Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull amid a disappointing run of form and performances.

The pressure surrounding Perez has ramped up after his tally of just 11 points from the past five races. The 34-year-old Mexican suffered an embarrassing Q1 exit at Silverstone and could only finish 17th in the race.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England,
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Perez has not finished on the podium since the Chinese Grand Prix in April and is yet to win a race this year. In contrast, teammate Max Verstappen has notched up seven victories from 12 races.

As a result, Perez has slipped to sixth place in the drivers’ championship - behind both McLaren and Ferrari drivers - and is a huge 137 points adrift of Verstappen.

Perez underperforming has come at time when Red Bull have faced intense pressure from their rivals in recent races, leaving the reigning world champions just 71 points clear of Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.

This has only fuelled talk that Red Bull are evaluating whether to replace Perez, who only signed a new two-year deal last month. It is believed Perez has several performance-related clauses inserted into his latest contract that would enable Red Bull to fire him, potentially during the current campaign.

Perez now has two races - the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix - to turn things around before F1 heads into its annual summer shutdown in August.

RB pair Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda would naturally be linked with Perez’s seat given they race for Red Bull’s sister team, but Ricciardo’s own patchy form has left question marks over his own F1 future and whether he is the right replacement. Meanwhile, Tsunoda has already earned a contract to remain with RB for 2025 after an impressive start to the campaign.

Enter stage right, Lawson. The 22-year-old Kiwi’s name has been thrown into the equation, particularly since it emerged he would be testing the RB20 at Silverstone. A second run in the current RB is planned at Imola the week after the Belgian Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB VCARB 01. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy,
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB VCARB 01. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7,…

While Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has admitted Perez’s current form is “unsustainable”, he has downplayed the significance of Lawson’s Silverstone outing, describing it as an “aero test” that has been planned for some time.

"Those tests have been planned for some time so they're not something that have just sprung up, they've been planned for a couple of months now,” Horner insisted to Sky Sports.

"Liam is our test and reserve driver, that's his job. But Checo, it's been a horrible weekend for him.”

Comparisons have been drawn to Ricciardo’s test at Silverstone last year, which ultimately paved the way for him to complete a surprise return to the F1 grid with AlphaTauri as Nyck de Vries’ replacement.

But the two tests are very different. 12 months ago Ricciardo was conducting a Pirelli tyre test in Red Bull’s 2023 car, meaning he was able to run compounds used during the season. This provided a fairer data set to evaluate the Australian in relation to the other drivers in Red Bull’s stable.

While Lawson’s pair of tests are likely to be less decisive, there is no denying he still has an opportunity to impress Red Bull and potentially stake a claim for Perez’s seat. 

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