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Disastrous weekend for Lawson

after losing Pole in Monaco

Liam Lawson’s Formula 2 weekend at Monaco began with so much promise but in the end delivered very little.

The Red Bull-Rodin Cars driver left the Principality with just one championship point after another heart-break weekend on the streets of Monte Carlo.

On Friday in qualifying Lawson set a scintillating pace to snatch pole in the final minute of the session, only for the time to be disallowed post-qualifying for a rule infringement under yellow racing conditions at the final corner.

Eventual pole sitter Felipe Drugovich had crashed his car just before Lawson took the provisional pole off him with the Brazilian driver stopping his car just short of the finish line.

That put the final sector of the track with his motionless car under double yellow flags, and because Lawson didn’t slow down sufficiently around the final corner, he was stripped of the provisional pole time and handed a five place grid penalty for the Sprint race.

“Qualifying was obviously disappointing, the car was very very good and we put a very good lap together,” said Lawson. “Right at the end I went through a single yellow before the line but it was so late that I didn’t think… to me it was safe so I kept my foot in it across the line.

“I got a penalty, Drugovich crashed and kept his Pole by crashing,” he added.

Lawson’s second-best lap time then counted for his starting grid in the Feature race. He finished third in his qualifying group, the 22 cars were split into two, which translated into P5 for the main race when both qualifying groups were combined.

From P11 the 20-year-old Kiwi drove up to eighth in the Sprint race to collect a single championship point.

“I did what I could but it was pretty much a train.”

Just when Lawson thought his weekend couldn’t get any worse, he stalled the #5 Red Bull-Rodin car trying to get away for the formation lap and was forced to start the Feature race from pit lane.

On a notoriously difficult circuit to pass on, Lawson climbed from 21st to 12th before his car slowed towards the end of the race and he retired to the pits.

“We had a driveshaft break, at least, we haven’t confirmed that but we had a drive issue towards the end so we had to retire.

” Twelve months earlier Lawson lost a maiden F2 race win in Monaco after he started the race with his car in the wrong engine map.

Lawson has now fallen from fourth to eighth in the championship standings but with 18 races still to go in the season, he is looking to get his title-fight back on track when F2 heads to another street circuit in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, in a fortnight.

Liam Lawson had a difficult weekend in Monaco, scoring just a single point from the weekend’s two races. (Photos: Red Bull Content Pool)

FIA F2 Monte Carlo, Monaco: Qualifying – Group A Top 6
1. Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) 1:21.348
2. Jack Doohan (Virtuosi Racing) +0.084s
3. *Liam Lawson (Carlin) +0.151s
4. Marcus Armstrong (Hitech Grand Prix) +0.386s
5. Dennis Hauger (PREMA Racing) +0.469s
6. Ralph Boschung (Campos Racing) +0.511s
*2nd fastest time. Lap 1:21.229 disallowed

FIA F2 Monte Carlo, Monaco: Qualifying – Group B Top 6
1. Theo Pouchaire (ART Grand Prix) 1:21.535
2. Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix) +0.083s
3. Enzo Fittipaldi (Charouz Racing System) +0.184s
4. Jehan Daruvala (PREMA Racing) +0.393s
5. Jack Hughes (Van Amersfoort Racing) +0.476s
6. Roy Nissany (DAMS) +0.482.

Sprint Race (Reverse Top 10 grid, 30 laps) – Top 6
1. Hauger
2. Daruvala +6.711s
3. Armstrong +7.267s
4. Fittipaldi +13.164s
5. Vips +14.566s
6. Pourchaire +15.829s
8. Lawson +21.670

Feature Race (42 laps) – Top 6
1. Drugovich
2. Pourchaire +0.827s
3. Vips +8.042s
4. Doohan +12.954s
5. Fittipaldi +13.534s
6. Armstrong +14.746s
dnf. Lawson (broken driveshaft)

FIA F2 Championship points – Drivers Top 6
1. Drugovich 113
2. Pourchaire 81
3. Daruvala 53
4. Armstrong 50
5. Vips 49
6. Doohan 45
8. Lawson 38

FIA F2 Championship points – Teams Top 6
1. MP Motorsport 135
2. ART Grand Prix 106
3. Hitech Grand Prix 99
4. Prema Racing 83
5. Carlin 76
6. Virtuosi Racing 47

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.