Liam Lawson’s Formula 2 campaign kicked off on the right foot, clinching a podium in the first race of the year in Bahrain.
The Kiwi stayed patient all race, deposing Ralph Boschung for third with two laps remaining as he kept his tyres in good nick.
The result is Lawson’s fourth career F2 podium and his second at Bahrain.
“The first part of the race wasn’t easy,” he said.
“Had a big lockup into turn one, and from that point, it was very tough because I had lots of vibrations and couldn’t brake properly.
“I thought we were actually really slow until the end when it all sort of spread out a little bit, and we were actually really fast.”
Sixth in qualifying meant Lawson started fifth for today’s reverse top-ten sprint race.
He was soon up a place as polesitter Felipe Drugovich slumped outside the top five after a horrid launch.
Lawson says there are plenty of positives to take away from the race and targets a similar performance for the feature race Sunday night NZT.
“[The goal is to] move forward, like we did today.
“A podium would be nice, but we just need to move forward and get some points.”
Fellow Kiwi Marcus Armstrong’s race ended on lap three.
The Hitech driver was clipped at turn eight by an audacious Jake Hughes.
Armstrong spun and couldn’t get the car moving again.
He starts the feature race from 13th on the grid.
That race starts at 11.40 pm.
Formula 2 sprint race results:
|19||Olli Caldwell||+1 lap|