Heading into the Formula 2 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Liam Lawson was seventh in the Formula 2 Drivers’ Standings on 123 points after a difficult season.
Now as he leaves Abu Dhabi, the New Zealander has finished his second Formula 2 season in third place in the 2022 Formula 2 Drivers’ Standings on 149 points after claiming his fourth victory of the season in Saturday’s Sprint Race, and a third-place podium in the final Feature Race of the season on Sunday.
The Kiwi was able to experience life in a Formula 1 Champion’s car on Friday as he took part in the Formula 1 FP1 session in Abu Dhabi, replacing two-time Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen in the RB18 for the 60-minute session. Lawson finished his FP1 session fifth fastest as he took part in FP1 for Red Bull Racing for the first time after a couple of FP1 sessions this season for AlphaTauri.
Despite Qualifying in ninth for the Feature Race in Formula 2 Qualifying later on Friday. That meant the Red Bull Junior would be starting second for the final Sprint Race of the season on Saturday alongside Richard Verschoor who was on Pole.
Lawson showed his quick pace in both races beginning with the Sprint Race by breaking late to catch Verschoor by surprise on Lap 10 to snatch the lead and claim a dominant fourth victory with an 8-second margin at the chequered flag.
Continuing with the Feature Race on Sunday, the Kiwi was able to get ahead of Carlin team mate, Logan Sargeant, (who was occupying third in the Drivers’ Standings at the time), on the opening lap. The New Zealander then implemented the correct race strategy as he managed to get ahead of fellow Red Bull Junior, Dennis Hauger, with Carlin producing a quicker pit-stop than Hauger’s and also undercutting Théo Pourchaire to take hold of third place and finish there at the end.
Lawson, believed that the pace in both races at Abu Dhabi showed where Carlin “should have been most of the season” as the British team finished second in the 2022 Formula 2 Teams’ Standings.
Overall, an impressive but bittersweet end then to the season for Liam Lawson with finishing third in the Drivers’ Standings, not his aim at the beginning of the season.
The Red Bull Junior reflected saying that Abu Dhabi has been “my highlight weekend of the year, to have FP1 with Red Bull as well, very happy with that and to finish 3rd in the F2 championship.”
On finishing the season on a high and in third in the 2022 Formula 2 Drivers’ Standings, the Kiwi explained that “obviously to finish on a high is nice, I think we, as a team, deserve it after the struggles we’ve had this year.” And that “considering we came into this weekend 7th, taking 3rd is maximising what we could achieve.”
With Super Formula looking to possibly be on the cards in 2023 for Liam Lawson as also appears to be taking up a Reserve Driver Role at Red Bull Racing and at AlphaTauri. insideF2 wishes the New Zealander the best of luck in his career as he looks to push for a drive in Formula 1 with AlphaTauri in 2024.
Image: Redbull Content Pool