On Saturday evening of the FIA Formula 2 Championship’s 10th round at the Hungaroring in late July, InsideF2 caught up with Carlin’s Deputy Team Principal Stephanie Carlin, who was promoted to the position last month after spending 16 years at the team in various PR, marketing and commercial roles.
Carlin had high praise for Liam Lawson’s performance in the Sprint Race that day, stating that he pulled off “some of the moves of the race” on his climb from 11th on the grid to sixth. The highlight of his race came when he put two wheels on the grass while overtaking fellow Red Bull junior Jehan Daruvala on the front straight on Lap 23.
“Liam was just on fire today,” she said. “We know that this is a circuit that’s really hard to overtake, and he had really good pace. He [had] just the right level of aggression with his overtakes, and you know that when Liam’s sizing up an overtake, it has the potential to be a really good one.”
Lawson repeated those same sorts of manoeuvres at the Sunday’s Feature Race, when he rose from 14th to seventh on the prime-option strategy, capped off by a brilliant overtake around the outside of championship leader Felipe Drugovich at Turn 10 with four laps to go.
Carlin said it’s ‘exciting to watch’ Lawson at his aggressive best, but there’s another underlying emotion she feels while on the pit wall.
“We’re nervous all the time”, she explained, “because there’s a very fine line between something going wrong and something being great in motor racing, every day and every session. But he did a great job.”
In evaluating the 2022 season thus far, Carlin praised Lawson’s strong start, which included a win at Round 2 in Jeddah and two podiums at the opening round in Bahrain. But she explained that things haven’t gone so smoothly for the New Zealander since, with ‘a bit of bad luck’ and poor Qualifying results hindering his ability to finish on the rostrum.
“We’ve proven that we’ve got a fast car pretty much everywhere,” Carlin said. “We started off strong – Liam had a great start to the season, which is exactly what we’d expect from him. It’s why we wanted him in the team. He’s such a strong driver, and the combination of the package is really good.”
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited