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Lawson wins Fuji Super Formula Debut

A brilliant debut Super Formula victory for Red Bull Junior Liam Lawson on Saturday was backed up by the 21-year-old New Zealander crossing the line 3rd on Sunday. But the Team Mugen driver was demoted to 5th by a five-second time penalty for not respecting the Safety Car procedure.

“Coming into the weekend, obviously I had never driven the track before, I was a little bit disappointed that Free Practice was cancelled.”

“So going into Quali on Saturday I really had no idea what to expect but the car was very very good. In Quali, I put a decent lap together. Then in the race, our pace was really really strong.”

“Learning on the go a little bit but the team did a great job to come into the weekend, with no practice and having to guess a baseline set-up. It’s really impressive that they have put together something this strong. So happy to win Race 1.”

“Today, Race 2, P5 in the end after the penalty which is unfortunate but I guess the rules are the rules. To be honest, the leader was driving pretty erratically, so I was pretty frustrated to see that I was penalised when he wasn’t but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

“In Qualifying this morning I didn’t quite put the lap together, unfortunately. We also had a compromised warm-up, the tyres weren’t quite in the right window, but again, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

“Again in the race, we had really good speed, especially towards the end so I think that is positive to take forward. A lot of positives, coming away second on points but definitely, there are things we can improve on as well.”

“I knew coming here to Japan that the series would be at a very high level because I know a lot of the drivers that have raced here before. What has impressed me, that I didn’t quite expect is the very high level of the cars and the teams. The teams are impressive, the way they operate.”

“The car is extremely fast, faster than Formula 2, a lot closer to Formula 1. Sometimes it even feels like Formula 1 in some corners. Downforce is pretty exceptional.”

“And the competition, these guys have obviously raced here a long time, they are very experienced, so they don’t make many mistakes and they are very fast.”

Super Formula Fuji Speedway
Qualifying 1
1. T. Nojiri (Mugen) 1m 22.06s
2. R. Miyata (Toms) +0.046s
3. L. Lawson (Mugen) +0.158s

Race 1
1. L. Lawson (Mugen) 1h 15m 37.813s
2. T. Nojiri (Mugen) +2.058s
3. R. Hirakawa (Van Am) +5.829s

Qualifying 2
1. T. Nojiri (Mugen) 1m 21.196s
2. R. Miyata (Toms) +0.374s
3. T. Oyu (TGM) +0.394s

4. L. Lawson (Mugen) +0.449s

Race 2
1. T. Nojiri (Mugen) 1h 03m 04.489s
2. S. Tsuboi (Inging) +1.643s
3. K. Yamashita (Kondo) +3.103s

5. L. Lawson (Mugen) +6.926s (Penalty)

Super Formula Championship Points after 2 of 9 races – Next round Suzuka April 22/23

1. T. Nojiri (Mugen) 41 points
2. L. Lawson (Mugen) 27
3. R. Miyata (Toms) 18