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Tost reveals which Red Bull juniors will drive in FP1 in 2022

With F1 teams obliged to run junior drivers in at least two free practice sessions in 2022, Franz Tost has revealed who will take the wheel for Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost has revealed that Liam Lawson and Juri Vips will both take part in free practice sessions for AlphaTauri and Red Bull during the 2022 F1 season. A new regulation for 2022 requires F1 teams to allow rookie drivers to take part in at least two FP1 sessions during the course of the season. A rookie is defined as a driver who has made a maximum of two career Grand Prix starts, and Tost said that Lawson and Vips - both F2 drivers and members of Red Bull's much-vaunted junior programme - would be given the chance to impress. "Currently, the drivers are Liam Lawson and Juri Vips, and this is also a decision from Red Bull," said Tost after Friday's final day of pre-season testing at Barcelona. "I think Vips will drive for Red Bull Racing and Lawson for Scuderia AlphaTauri. "[Lawson] was also testing with us last year in Abu Dhabi, and he did a good job. He is driving this year in Formula 2, and then we will see what the next steps will be."

Red Bull juniors given their wings

Lawson and Vips were teammates in F2 last year for Hitech Grand Prix, with Vips finishing sixth in the standings to Lawson's ninth. Alongside Lawson's debut F2 campaign, the New Zealander competed in the 2021 DTM series, driving a Red Bull-backed Ferrari 488. Lawson was a revelation in the Germany-based championship, taking three wins, outscoring teammate and ex-Red Bull F1 driver Alex Albon, and controversially missing out on the title after being taken out on the first lap of the series finale at the Norisring. For Vips, his 2021 F2 campaign was his first full season of racing since 2019, after plans to race in Japan's Super Formula series in 2020 were scuppered by Covid. While Vips remains with Hitech for 2022, Lawson moves over to the Carlin squad, whose recent graduates to F1 include Lando Norris and AlphaTauri incumbent Yuki Tsunoda. Other notable Red Bull juniors include India's Jehan Daruvala, who is gearing up for his third F2 campaign this year, and his new teammate Dennis Hauger of Norway, who steps up to F2 after winning the 2021 Formula 3 championship. Seven of the 20 current F1 drivers have been members of Red Bull's junior programme, including World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, and race winners Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly. Albon, Tsunoda and Carlos Sainz are the other current F1 drivers to have been part of the Red Bull stable.

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