Liam Lawson drove a marvelous race to claim 3rd place for the 2nd race of round 3 at Zolder Circuit in Belgium.
After an unlucky spell in both qualifying sessions and the start of race one, Lawson redeemed himself with an exciting drive onto the podium.
Here is how it played out:
Lawson drove a great first lap after taking a cheeky outside line into turn one which made for a tremendous entry into turn 2 and 3 giving Lawson an inside line to move past 2 drivers and move into 4th.
Lawson ended up behind his rival Kelvin Van der Linde who also made up a spot on the first lap and slotted himself into 3rd.
A safety car was deployed on lap 2 after the HRT Mercedes of Vincent Abril ended up in the gravel on turn 1.
The safety car came in at the start of Lap 6. This allowed Lawson to make a fantastic opportunistic move on Van der Linde as Liam placed his Ferrari excellently on the inside line as he did on lap 1 to move up into 3rd!
Van der Linde was immediately hot on the tail of Lawson after his excellent post safety car move.
2nd placed Lucas Auer pitted on lap 9 which moved Lawson up into 2nd provisionally and then again up to 1st at the beginning of lap 11 when the race leader Marco Wittman pitted.
Lawson took his chance to pit at the end of lap 11 and was told on the radio that “you are fighting for position at pit exit”. Lawson came out after a swift tyre change (8.10 seconds) in a net 4th place.
Kelvin Van der Linde pitted on lap 13 but on pit exit and was caught behind traffic meaning that Lawson kept his net 4th place behind those who had not yet pitted. Whereas, Van der Linde moved down to net 6th.
On lap 19 Lawson noted over the radio that he was experiencing some strange vibrations even though he was showing great pace catching the Mercedes of Lucas Auer ahead. It turned out not to be a persistent issue.
3rd placed Lucas Auer was given a 5 sec penalty on lap 20 due to a pit lane violation after race control confirmed there were too many personnel present during his stop.
Alex Albon, who started 12th, once again decided for a late pit stop after holding the lead on track all the way into lap 28 pulling out a decent 20 seconds plus lead. He then came out in 6th place, another fantastic strategy from the Ferrari Alphatauri team.
The rest of the race stayed drama free with Lawson holding his grounds in 4th and gradually picking up time on 3rd placed Maximilian Gotz. But the 5 second penalty picked up by Lucas Auer who was 2nd on track meant he dropped down the order to 5th therefore giving Lawson his podium.
A valiant drive from the Kiwi super star, a fantastic redemption from his woes in race 1. He keeps his 2nd place in the championship and is now 21 points behind Kelvin Van der Linde with 5 rounds to go this season.
Here is how the race classification finished: