Motorsport: Kiwi Liam Lawson completes first taste of Formula One in rain-hit practice session at Belgium Grand Prix

Kiwi Liam Lawson has completed his first taste of a Formula One race weekend, in a rain-disrupted free practice session before the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.

As part of Red Bull's junior driver programme, 20-year-old Lawson took the place of Pierre Gasly for Alpha Tauri, in his first practice session of the year.

All 10 Formula One teams must give two practice sessions to a junior driver this season, although Lawson could be in for more as the reserve for both Alpha Tauri and the Red Bull senior team.

Despite the rain over Belgium, Lawson got through 14 laps at the famous circuit and put up a best time of 1m 52.065s. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz put up the fastest time of the session, with 1m 46.538s.

The time saw Lawson 19th of the 20 drivers taking part in the first practice session, with Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas not recording a time, limited to only two laps.

"I've enjoyed getting to drive the car around such an iconic track, it's been a crazy experience," Lawson told the Checkered Flag

"The car was great to drive, the limit is so much further than I was ready for, it took a bit of time to get used to that, but I think I built up the pace steadily on the Hards and was ready to push on the Softs at the end, so it's a bit of a shame I didn't get the opportunity to really go for it.

"I want to say a big thank you to Scuderia AlphaTauri and Red Bull for giving me this opportunity. It's been really cool spending the weekend with the team, it's a crazy step up from F2."

"There's so many more people than I'm used to, but having this opportunity is really great for us young drivers so we can understand what it's like in an F1 team and learn as much as we can. I've loved every second of today and am extremely appreciative for this opportunity."

Taking part in Friday's (NZ time) practice session is Lawson's second time stepping into Alpha Tauri's ranks in Formula One.

At the end of 2021, Lawson suited up for the Italian outfit at Formula One's end of season testing, where he put in 125 laps worth of work at Abu Dhabi, as a way of helping the team prepare for 2022.

But Lawson wasn't limited to Formula One. Before driving for Alpha Tauri, the Kiwi took part in his Formula Two duties, where he qualified sixth fastest for the feature race, to be held before the Belgium Grand Prix on Monday morning (NZ time).

Lawson currently sits eighth in the Formula Two championship, with two victories and four more podiums so far in 2022.