Motorsport: Kiwi Liam Lawson backed for Formula 1 after Bahrain blitz

Kiwi Liam Lawson opened the eyes of the motorsport world in Bahrain, with a race win and a podium on his Formula 2 debut.

Racing under the famed Red Bull Junior Team banner, the 19-year-old is considered one of the sport's most promising prospects.

And for two New Zealand motorsport greats, Lawson is destined for the top.

"[It] wasn't perfect so there is still more to improve on our side," Lawson said. "Hopefully we can repeat the start again."

While the 19-year-old was humble, his first and third places in Bahrain are already creating big noise about an elevation to the very top - Formula 1. 

"I see the X-factor, that little bit of extra ability that is quite visual in Liam that sets him apart from the good," said motorsport icon Greg Murphy.

"He is great. They're backing the right horse, and they know that."

And he's got a global backer in one of F1's major players - Red Bull Racing. Lawson is part of Red Bull's Junior Team, which has produced a wealth of F1 graduates, including fellow Kiwi Brendon Hartley and current superstar Max Verstappen. 

Former McLaren engineer Bob McMurray worked alongside the likes of Ayrton Senna and knows what it takes to make that leap - a leap he feels could come sooner than expected for Lawson.

"That winner's mentality you can't breed that into somebody. You have it or you don't. He has it, simple as that.

"I'd like to see next year - I don't know. I think he is in the right position, at the right time it's just another door that needs to open."

"My bet is pretty much 100 percent that he will be in an F1 car before too long," added Murphy.

Big wraps for the Kiwi teen, with Formula 1 now firmly in his grasp.