The latest name to join the illustrious list of Formula 3 race victors, Liam Lawson admits he is not allowing yesterday’s reverse-grid race triumph to deter his focus on claiming a maiden series crown.
After charging to the lead following a daring move on erstwhile leader David Beckmann on his seventh tour, Lawson survived a late-race safety car and subsequent onslaught by Toyota Racing Series graduate Richard Verschoor to hang onto his inaugural F3 race win.
It was a stellar drive worthy of praise as the trio of lengthy DRS-assisted straights that characterise the Red Bull Ring promoted a flurry of overtaking with several drivers failing to hold onto the lead over both races.
The Kiwi now sits second in the points standings, seven points adrift of young Australian racer Oscar Piastri ahead of next weekend’s return to the Spielberg venue.
But Lawson, who signed for established championship contenders Hitech Grand Prix ahead of the truncated 2020 season, says the victory only serves as a small step on his target to clinch the overall title and pave a way towards a coveted Formula 1 drive.
“We pushed a lot for this last year and we got close, we got a second and a third, but we couldn’t quite get the win, so it is very nice to win,” said Lawson.
“It is a reverse grid race though and we want to be starting at the front and winning Race 1s, and that is what we will work towards.
“We are fighting for the Championship this year and that is what we are pushing for. For me, [pressure] is not too much of an issue. With Hitech this year, it is an awesome opportunity for me. It is a step up and something that I am looking forward to continuing with throughout the year.”
Lawson’s weekend only grew stronger after a disappointing qualifying performance on Friday which saw the Kiwi struggle to break the top-10 as all three Hitech GP cars were grappling with tyre temperature issues across the 30-minute session.
With the FIA bringing a softer combination of Pirelli tyres for next weekend’s event, Lawson is praying the team can overcome their qualifying hitches and string together a more complete round.
“We pushed a lot for this last year and we got close, we got a second and a third, but we couldn’t quite get the win, so it is very nice to win today,” added Lawson. “It is a reverse grid race though and we want to be starting at the front and winning Race 1s, and that is what we will work towards.
“I think Quali was our biggest struggle this weekend and it is definitely what we need to work on next weekend.
“We will be going onto a different compound as well, so that is something that we will have to try and get on top of quickly, because we struggled to turn the tyre on in Quali on Friday, so hopefully we can work on that next week.”
The FIA Formula 3 Championship will return to action on Friday, July 10 with free practice which is slated for 7.35 pm.
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