Lawson holds onto fourth - 23 May 2022
COPYRIGHT FREE IMAGE (2): Liam Lawson had a difficult weekend in Spain but holds on to fourth in the FIA F2 championship. (Photos: Red Bull Content Pool)
Lawson holds onto fourth after a difficult weekend in Spain
Formula 2 racer Liam Lawson has maintained his fourth championship position after a difficult weekend in Spain.
The 20-year-old Kiwi Red Bull-Rodin Cars driver was on the back-foot after an issue in qualifying left him to start both races from 16th on the grid.
"We had an issue with the warm-up of the tyres in qualifying, particularly on the second set that messed us up a bit," said Lawson after his worst qualifying of the year. "We know what needs to be improved so it shouldn't happen again."
Lawson had electric starts in both races but soon got caught behind a train of cars, with no-one able to pass on a circuit renowned for a lack of overtaking opportunities.
"I was in a DRS train for most of it and couldn't overtake anybody," said Lawson at the end of the first race. "I had good tyres compared to the guys around me but still couldn't do anything. It was pretty frustrating."
For the Feature race, which includes the mandatory pit-stop, Lawson's Carlin team called him in to switch from the soft to the harder compound tyres early in the race. He climbed up to sixth place, 10 spots up from his starting grid.
Lawson's sixth place came under fire over the closing laps from the few drivers who'd switched to the softer tyre towards the end of the race and were able to use their superior pace to get by, demoting him to ninth at the chequered flag.
"I think our strategy was okay but we didn't optimise it. A really good first lap and then we obviously boxed a bit too early. I came out behind [Theo] Pourchaire and got stuck behind him the whole race. His pace was too slow which put us under pressure from the alternate strategy guys coming back at us," he said.
"If we'd be able to clear Pourchaire I think we could have been okay."
Lawson said he was also surprised at how long the soft tyre lasted in the searing 35-degree heat in Barcelona, particularly after their results in testing at the circuit a month earlier.
"In these hot temperatures the soft actually works quite well, it's a much better tyre. We had a lot of issues with graining in testing when it was a lot colder and we just didn't predict it to last as long as it did today."
Race winner and championship leader Felipe Drugovich took victory after running a much longer stint on the soft tyres than his rivals.
Lawson finished ninth in both races, taking away a mere two championship points for his weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, enough to remain in fourth place in the championship with 20 races still to come.
The FIA F2 championship now has a quick turnaround from Spain with testing in just four days time at Monte Carlo, as preparations begin for the Monaco Grand Prix meeting.
FIA F2 Sakhir, Bahrain: Qualifying - Top 6
1. Jack Doohan (Virtuosi Racing) 1:28.612
2. Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix) +0.023s
3. Frederik Vesti (ART Grand Prix) +0.240s
4. Jehan Daruvala (PREMA Racing) +0.272s
5. Logan Sargeant (Carlin) +0.355s
6. Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS) +0.365
16. Liam Lawson (Carlin) +0.876s
Race 1 (Reverse Top 10 grid, 26 laps) - Top 6
1. Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport)
2. Iwasa +2.109s
3. Sargeant +4.165s
4. Daruvala +8.493s
5. Theo Pouchaire (ART Grand Prix) +9.251s
6. Doohan +10.481s
9. Lawson +17.705s
Race 2 (Feature Race 37 laps) - Top 6
2. Doohan +5.630s
3. Vesti +23.169s
4. Sargeant +24.720s
5. Clement Novalak (MP Motorsport) +25.060s
6. Enzo Fittipaldi (Charouz Racing) +31.430
9. Lawson +37.174s
FIA F2 Championship points - Drivers Top 6
1. Drugovich 86
2. Pourchaire 60
3. Daruvala 41
4. Lawson 37
5. Marcus Armstrong (Hitech Grand Prix) 36
6. Sargeant 36
FIA F2 Championship points - Teams Top 6
1. MP Motorsport 108
2. ART Grand Prix 85
3. Carlin 73
4. Hitech Grand Prix 66
5. Prema Racing 55
6. DAMS 42
Calendar 2022 - FIA F2:
18-20 March, Sakhir, Bahrain
25-27 March, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
22-24 April, Imola, Italy
20-22 May, Barcelona, Spain
27-29 May, Monte Carlo, Monaco
10-12 June, Baku, Azerbaijan
01-03 July, Silverstone, Great Britain
08-10 July, Spielberg, Austria
29-31 July, Budapest, Hungary
26-28 August, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
02-04 September, Zandvoort, Netherlands
09-11 September, Monza, Italy
18-20 November, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, UAE.