As the DTM season nears its end with one race weekend to go after this one, Liam Lawson is leading the standings holding onto a 10 point buffer.
The young Kiwi had an excellent run last weekend clinching two podiums from two races even with added success ballast in both outings.
He hit the track again this weekend in the Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari but only managed to set fastest laps good enough for P17 in FP1 and 18th in FP2.
Both Ferraris lacked speed which showed in the results but it seemed the fellow Italian vehicles, the Lamborghinis of Esteban Muth and Esmee Hawkey were also struggling with Muth able to clinch 12th as his highest result in both free practices.
Meanwhile the German manufacturers were functioning at full pace, enjoying the long straights and fast nature of the circuit. Alex Albon was able to grab P10 in FP1 but the rest of the top 10 in FP1 and FP2 were German V8s.
Liam usually fluctuates in practice with the nature of the sessions being more focused on setting up the car correctly and practicing pit stops. But P17 and P18 must have been surprising results ahead of the first qualifying tomorrow afternoon.
Qualifying will, as usual, be crucial to success this weekend given Liam will regain the added success ballast of 18kg for race 1 due to his 2nd place podium last time out.
Hopefully tomorrow he can sort out a flying lap that puts everything his Ferrari has to give so he can hold on for the race. But this will definitely be a difficult weekend for the rookie.
Featured image source: twitter.com/DTM