Red Bull juniors name-dropped for practice outings

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull front nose stood up. Spain, February 2022.

The front nose and wing from the Red Bull RB18 on a stand. Spain, February 2022.

According to AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost, Red Bull has selected Liam Lawson and Juri Vips for the young driver running during the 2022 season.

A lack of seats for promising junior racers has been a hot topic for debate recently in Formula 1, so as of the 2022 campaign, teams must now run a rookie driver in two practice sessions across the season.

A rookie driver will be defined as someone that has contested two or less grands prix in Formula 1.

And it would appear that Red Bull has gone with two of their highly-regarded junior stars.

Starting with Juri Vips, who participated in the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers’ Test with Red Bull in 2020 and 2021.

Tost explained that Vips will contest the two practice sessions with Red Bull, while Lawson will do the same for his AlphaTauri outfit, the sister team of Red Bull, having represented them in the Abu Dhabi test in 2021.

Liam Lawson undoing his helmet. Germany October 2021
Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson undoing the straps of his helmet. Germany October 2021

When asked who will contest the rookie driver sessions for AlphaTauri, Tost, as quoted by The Race, replied: “It will be Liam Lawson.

“And of course, this is also a decision from Red Bull. Currently, the drivers are Liam Lawson and Vips, I think that Vips will drive for Red Bull Racing and Lawson for Scuderia AlphaTauri.

“He was also testing with us last year in Abu Dhabi, he did a good job, he is driving this year in Formula 2 and then we will see what the next steps will be.”


Lawson has switched to Carlin for what will be his second season in Formula 2, though this time his full focus will be on the series, having in 2021 missed out on the DTM title under very controversial circumstances.

Vips meanwhile will stay with Hitech for a second F2 season, having claimed two race wins with the team in 2021 on his way to P6 in the final standings.

Red Bull have a stacked junior line-up in the 2022 F2 field, with Vips and Lawson joined by reigning Formula 3 champ Dennis Hauger, Jehan Daruvala and Ayumu Iwasa.