Liam Lawson reflected on an ‘epic’ DTM debut weekend in Monza a fortnight ago, suggesting a maiden win in his first race was largely unexpected.
Lawson won the opening race of the season at the Italian circuit, undercutting the field during the pitstop sequence to move from fifth into the lead.
The 19-year-old became the youngster winner in DTM history and the first in the category’s GT3 era.
However, he says, heading into the weekend, there were no expectations to snag a race win.
He believes that most teams were yet to show their full potential during pre-season testing.
“We had a pretty epic first round, again, same as F2 this year,” Lawson told NewsTalk ZB.
“[DTM] was a bit different. The car is entirely different to drive; the weekend and its format were different from what I am used to.
“With all the pre-season testing that we did, it was really hard to tell where we were because a lot of teams were sandbagging and having their own plans.
“So, you didn’t really know where you were.”
Lawson qualified on the fourth row for race one.
He saw it as the best position he and the AF Corsa Ferrari team could achieve amongst a crop of dominant Mercedes cars.
“After qualifying, P7 was really the best we could do,” he said.
“I knew we were better than seventh, but I didn’t think we had the pace to win the race.
“But we just played a good strategy and stopped early.
“Our team has got really good pitstops, and that is one thing that everything is trying to look at and learn off because our pitstops are one to two seconds faster than the second-fastest.
“That put me up front and I managed it from there.”
A race win early into his rookie season will give Lawson a massive boost in confidence moving forward.
However, with DTM’s constantly evolving Balance of Performance criteria, he believes each round will be a bit of a lottery.
“You are going to see lots of different teams be really good at some places, and in one race be really good and in another not so good.”
Alongside his DTM commitments, Lawson is racing in his debut Formula 2 season with Hitech GP.
He says going between both series’ is challenging, with the two having entirely different types of race car.
“Going to F2 from DTM, everything is sped up a lot, and with the downforce, it is quite hard to step everything up and know exactly how hard to push it.
“Especially as you only got one 45-minute practice session with one set of tyres, which means it is really only three or four laps max that you are pushing to learn everything all over again.
“So, it is difficult going from the GT car to the F2, that’s for sure.”
Lawson’s next race weekend is at Silverstone for the fourth round of the F2 championship on July 17-18.
His next DTM meeting will be at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz (formerly the Lausitzring) on July 24-25.