A mid-pack drivers’ worst nightmare is to be collected in a crash that didn’t involve them. Even worse when it happens on the first lap. . .
Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to Liam Lawson on the 5th corner of Zolder on Saturday afternoon in Belgium.
The young Kiwi qualified mid pack in 10th place and was determined to move up from there to continue his success in the DTM series.
But his chances were cut short early as the left side of his Ferrari was smashed into with heavy force sending him flying forwards into the gravel trap.
The crash seemed to be caused due to another incident involving Arjun Maini who’s Mercedes also ended up in the gravel and exited the race.
That caused a chain reaction behind forcing drivers to quickly change their trajectories under heavy braking. Hence why Lawson, who was unfortunately on the outside racing line, was punted off the track.
Daniel Juncadella, Arjun Maini, and Lawson all returned to the pits afterwards and would not continue the race. Juncadella quickly took all responsibility for the crash and apologised to those involved although, at the time not knowing whom they were.
Lawson was unharmed and his car seemed to be ok after the crash only showing signs of possible suspension issues on one side. A good sign for his comeback in race 2 tomorrow afternoon.
As for the rest of the race, the South African championship leader, Kelvin Van der Linde extended his lead from Lawson with a fantastic pole to 1st place finish.
The gap in the championship is now 32 points from first placed Kelvin to Liam in second place.
On a more positive note, fellow Ferrari teammate Alexander Albon managed to finish 3rd from a 4th grid position start after a longer first stint meant he undercut the drivers who had not yet pitted.
That showed a great team strategy from the Redbull/ Alphatauri garages which is promising for tomorrow’s second race.
Lawson was obviously unhappy with his performance on Saturday but the chance to qualify higher and compete again will put fire in the young Kiwi’s belly.
Here is how the rest of the drivers finished:
Feature image source: instagram.com/liamlawson30/