Watch Lawson's Super Formula debut this weekend on new live stream platform
Super Formula is GO in Japan at Fuji for double-header
Liam Lawson will make his debut in Japan’s highly-rated Super Formula championship this weekend. A double-header round at Fuji will kick off the new season with a new ’23-spec car and a new digital platform offering a world-wide live streaming service.
Super Formula organisers have launched SFgo with a free streaming offer for this Easter weekend’s two qualifying and two race action from Fuji International Speedway in Oyama.
Lawson will dovetail a full Super Formula championship season in with his Oracle Red Bull Racing reserve driver and simulation duties, making two trips from his UK-base to Japan in the next fortnight before the calendar settles to one round per month.
It will be a hectic start to Lawson’s introduction to SF, the closest specification race car to a modern F1 car, with three races in a fortnight after just the mandatory two days of pre-season testing in which he finished fifth fastest on the final day.
This weekend will also be Lawson’s first-ever visit to the Fuji circuit with limited practice time before two 41 lap or maximum 75 minute races, one each on Saturday and Sunday.
The Red Bull-backed junior is under no illusion as to how difficult it will be to be competitive against the very experienced local drivers, let alone win races.
“Obviously every driver has to have self-confidence; if you don’t have that, you’re not going to win,” Lawson told Motorsport.com in the build-up to Fuji.
“Coming here [Japan] is a big challenge and it’s not realistic to expect to beat them straight away. Everyone that comes here struggles initially, so for me it’s about breaking that barrier as soon as possible and deliver as early as possible in the season.”
“The first races will be tough. I am here to win, but I’m not expecting to do that early on. I still need to learn.”
Lawson will drive alongside defending double-champion Tomoki Nojiri for Team Mugen in Honda-powered cars. 22 drivers take to the grid for this year’s championship which concludes with another double-header weekend at Suzuka in October.
Super Formula enters its 51st year as the leading single-seater category in Japan with only thirteen non-Japanese drivers ever crowned champion, the last one being Kiwi star Nick Cassidy in 2019.
The SFgo live stream offers sophisticated viewing and allows the use of two screens at the same time, with the option of watching the live action at the same time as viewing it from Lawon’s in-car camera with car data. Or choose any other on-board.
Other SFgo features include the ability to listen-in to team radio, highly precise graphics showing the GPS racing line and location of each driver and the ability for users to share their favourite scenes on SNS by recording the screen, within 30 seconds. Users are able to re-watch content from the video library.
To register for the free SFgo live streaming from Fuji this weekend, go to SFgo.jp to join. Saturday’s opening race starts at 5.15pm NZST and Sunday at 5.30pm.
Lawson’s Super Formula campaign in Japan is supported by Rodin Cars, Giltrap Group, Turners, cumulo9, Porter Group and the Tony Quinn Foundation.
COPYRIGHT FREE IMAGE (3):
(1) Liam Lawson during pre-season testing at Suzuka, Japan
(2) In action at Suzuka in the Team Mugen Honda-powered SF23
(3) Step-by-step graphic on how to join SFgo
Calendar 2023 – Super Formula, Japan
Rounds 1/2: 07-09 April, Fuji
Round: 21-23 April, Suzuka
Round: 19-21 May, Autopolis
Round: 16-18 June, Sportsland SUGO
Round: 18-20 August, Motegi
Rounds 8/9: 27-29 October, Suzuka
Super Formula champions- Non-Japanese nationals
1983 Geoff Lees (UK)
1992 Mauro Martini (Italy)
1994 Marco Apicella (Italy)
1996 Ralf Schumacher (Germany)
1997 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain)
1999 Tom Coronel (Netherlands)
2002 Ralph Firman (Ireland)
2004 Richard Lyons (UK)
2006 Benoit Treluyer (France)
2009 Loic Duval (France)
2010 Jao Paulode Oliveira (Brazil)
2011 Andre Lotterer (Germany)
2019 Nick Cassidy (New Zealand)