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Another podium and another disappointment

for Lawson in a hectic Baku weekend

After a stirring drive in from ninth to the podium in the opening Formula 2 race at Baku, Liam Lawson had another disappointing feature race and left Azerbaijan with only a few points for his efforts.

The weekend started full of promise, second-fastest in qualifying.

“A really good start to the weekend. Qualifying went nicely for us. The car was really fast, we actually had the speed for Pole but it was a very messy end to the session and we were at the back of the pit lane as well so the warm up was quite tough, but yes, happy to line up P2 for the Feature,” said Lawson.

The Red Bull Junior-Rodin Cars driver claimed Pole on the street circuit last year so it was his second front row start in two appearances at the demanding Baku street circuit.

Lining up ninth for the start of the top-ten reverse grid Sprint race, Lawson made good progress in the early laps but his chance for a podium came after the last of two Safety Car periods.

“The Sprint Race was good, managed to go from 9th to 3rd, the pace was good.”

The podium was Lawson’s fourth of the season so far.

When the lights went out for the main race, Lawson retained his second place off the line and headed into the compulsory pit stop maintaining his position.

But then a bungled pit stop and waiting for a clear exit from his pit box, Lawson fell back to just inside the top ten.

Confident of climbing back through the order, the Kiwi driver’s race turned upside down after he was hit from behind by Australian Jack Doohan, which punctured a rear tyre of the Red Bull-Rodin car and forced him back into the pits.

“I had a decent start, was running 2nd, then we had a slow pit stop which put me out P7 I think, or P8.

“Then I got torpedoed by Doohan from behind, that gave me a puncture and that was our race…. So, really frustrating because again we had the pace but it’s another weekend coming away with very few points.”

With so many points on offer for the Feature races, failing to score has dropped Lawson down to tenth in the standings as the season heads to the halfway mark at the next round, Silverstone, in three weeks time.


Luck has eluded Liam Lawson in Baku despite qualifying on the front row and a podium in the Sprint Race. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool)

FIA F2 Baku, Azerbaijan: Qualifying – Top 6
1. Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix) 1m53.762s
2. Liam Lawson (Carlin) +0.163s
3. Dennis Hauger (PREMA Racing) +0.211s
4. Marcus Armstrong (Hitech Grand Prix) +0.215s
5. Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) +0.238s
6. Richard Verschoor (Trident) +0.267s

Sprint Race (Reverse Top 10 grid, 21 laps) – Top 6
1. Frederik Vesti (ART Grand Prix)
2. Jehan Daruvala (PREMA Racing) +0.380s
3. Lawson +1.102s
4. Armstrong +1.517s
5. Drugovich +1.764s
6. Logan Sargeant (Carlin) +2.178s

Feature Race (26 laps) – Top 6*
1. Hauger
3. Sargeant +0.492s
3. Drugovich +0.946s
4. Daruvala +1.664s
5. Verschoor +2.776s
6. Enzo Fittipaldi (Charouz Racing System) +2.970s
15. Lawson
* race finished behind the Safety car.

FIA F2 Championship points – Drivers Top 6
1. Drugovich 132
2. Pourchaire 83
3. Daruvala 73
4. Sargeant 59
5. Hauger 55
6. Armstrong 55
10. Lawson 44

FIA F2 Championship points – Teams Top 6
1. MP Motorsport 154
2. PREMA Racing 128
3. ART Grand Prix 124
4. Hitech Grand Prix 106
5. Carlin 103
6. Charouz Racing System 54

Calendar 2022 – FIA F2:
18-20 March, Sakhir, Bahrain
25-27 March, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
22-24 April, Imola, Italy
20-22 May, Barcelona, Spain
27-29 May, Monte Carlo, Monaco
10-12 June, Baku, Azerbaijan
01-03 July, Silverstone, Great Britain
08-10 July, Spielberg, Austria
22-24 July, Le Castellet, France
29-31 July, Budapest, Hungary
26-28 August, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
02-04 September, Zandvoort, Netherlands
09-11 September, Monza, Italy
18-20 November, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, UAE.