Kiwi Liam Lawson ticked off a childhood dream on Saturday, driving Red Bull’s title-winning RB7 car around the heralded Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst.
Jumping behind the wheel of the car which Sebastian Vettel won the Formula One driver’s championship with in 2011, Lawson treated the Mount Panorama faithful in a demonstration run.
In between qualifying sessions for the Bathurst 12-hour race, Lawson experienced Bathurst for the first time, after watching Australia’s great race as a child.
The drive marked the first time a Formula One car has hit the track at Bathurst since 2011, when Jenson Button did the same in McLaren’s MP4-23.
“Mount Panorama is one of the most famous places in the world,” said Lawson.
“It’s a track I’ve wanted to drive since I was a kid. Before I can even remember I would’ve been watching the Bathurst 1000 Supercars race.
“I watch this as much as I watch Formula One, so it’s a mix of two worlds here today, it’s pretty special.
“Doing something like this is a dream come true sort of moment. It’s pretty special to be able to drive a car that I looked up to a lot when I was a kid and to show everybody here, to show the fans.”
Saturday wasn’t Lawson’s first time behind the wheel of a Red Bull car either, after impressing during a practice session before Formula One’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year.
Taking the RB7 around Bathurst is the start of what’s sure to be a big year for Lawson.
In the hope of securing a fulltime drive in the 2024 Formula One championship himself, Lawson has switched from the Formula Two feeder series to race in Japan’s Super Formula Championship this year.