Liam Lawson heads into this weekend’s final DTM round at Norisring with a 14-point championship lead in his bid to win the championship as a rookie.
Lawson has been balancing his DTM racing alongside the Formula 2 championship, going on to win his first DTM race on debut becoming the youngest winner in the series’ history.
Lawson will be joined for the final round by fellow Kiwi Nick Cassidy, who will join Lawson at his Red Bull backed AF Course team.
“I am looking forward to Nick [Cassidy]. He knows the car and he knows Norisring, too,” Lawson said.
“It was a cool time together with Alex [Albon]. Nick has always been closely involved with the team and he knows Norisring and the car, I am sure he will find his way quickly.
“For me, the Saturday will be particularly difficult, especially as the additional weight will have its effect at Norisring.”
This weekend Lawson will have 18 kilograms of success ballast added to his Ferrari.
“My most difficult race was the second race at Hockenheim. The additional weight made life really difficult for me at that track,” said Lawson.
With no previous experience at Norisring Lawson has been watching past races and practicing on a sim to prepare for the weekend.
Despite the difficult task of defending a championship lead at a track he’s never been to before while carrying extra ballast, Lawson is looking forward to getting on with business.
“Norisring is very short, exciting and really cool, but also very bumpy. That will be a new experience!”
Kelvin van der Linde sits second in the championship, however, he has past experience at the track.
“I am totally happy with where we are. Liam [Lawson] has a heavy load on his shoulders as he is the one everybody is after,” van der Linde said.
“Liam has 18 kilograms of extra weight on board on Saturday. There is no other track on the calendar where you really notice every additional kilogram that much under braking and acceleration.”
Van der Linde knows it’s possible to make up the points he needs to secure the championship, currently Lawson leads by 14 points with 54 available through the weekend.
“When [René] won his first title, he made up 21 points during the final weekend,” van der Linde said.
“At Hockenheim on Saturday, I made up 16 points on a single day, so it is also possible to make up 14 points.”
The final round of the DTM season gets underway this weekend with race one Sunday at 12.15am and race two on Monday at 12.15am.
Main image: Aline Proll