Lawson delivers season-best result to AlphaTauri in Singapore


Liam Lawson became on Sunday in Singapore only the sixth Kiwi to score championship points in F1, the talented rookie also delivering at Marina Bay its best result of the year to AlphaTauri with P9.

In only his third Grand Prix, Lawson made the top-ten shootout on Saturday, outpacing teammate Yuki Tsunoda to start his race from 10th on the grid.

A prudent first lap saw Lawson fall to P12 where he remained until his only pitstop on lap 20. The switch from medium to hard tyres saw him lose another position to McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

But thereafter, Lawson followed the Aussie as the pair eventually moved up the order, with the AlphaTauri driver racing as high as P8 until he logically ceded the position to Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez followed through with just three laps to go, but Lawson reclaimed ninth following George Russell's crash on the final lap of the race.

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Looking back on his evening, as impressive as his performance appeared to be from the outside, Lawson singled out his start as an area where he needs to improve.

"For me, the start I need to get on top of because it’s now two weekends in a row that I’ve watched the start, basically, and lost a couple of positions," he admitted.

"It’s just making our life more difficult, so that’s really the biggest loss of the race, and that’s on my part.

"For the rest, I think we extracted everything out of the car.

"We didn’t quite have the race pace to be honest, we kind of felt going into the race it was going to be a little bit difficult because we felt this on Friday as well, but we tried to correct it as much as we could, so I think we maximised."

Lawson pinpointed the moment when he started to realise that a top-ten finish was maybe on the cards.

"I think when maybe 20 laps to go before Max and the Red Bulls were coming back," he said. "At that point, I thought we had a chance, then I felt like it was slipping away again.

"I guess when Checo and Albon had their fight, and Albon went back, that was when I felt a bit more I guess comfortable that like we could at least score P10.

"Obviously it was a bonus – I mean, not a bonus to see somebody crash out for George, but for us obviously it means we get an extra point."

Lawson's very impressive apprenticeship is likely to create a conundrum for Red Bull, with three drivers – Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo and Lawson – vying for two seats at AlphaTauri.

It's likely Lawson will enjoy a fourth outing with the Faenza squad in Japan next weekend, although Red Bull has yet to confirm its plans and a specific timetable for Ricciardo's return to the grid.

"I’m just trying to maximise every race, every session, and finish as high as we can," Lawson said on Sunday evening at Marina Bay.

"Today that was points, which is great. We’ll try and do even more hopefully in the future, if I get the chance to drive again."

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