Red Bull Junior driver Liam Lawson has won the first of two DTM Series races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. It was a lights-to-flag victory for the Kiwi having claimed pole position earlier in qualifying. German Maximilian Götz from Mercedes-AMG Team HRT was second across the finish line from Swiss Philip Ellis, driving the Mercedes-AMG of the WINWARD team.
“We had a good first stint and wanted to push with a shorter run to open a gap,” commented Lawson. “It was quite even for a while then Maxilmilian (Götz) caught up and towards the end he got the gap down to less than a second.
“Tomorrow is going to be tough with carrying extra weight (BoP success ballast).
“I really like the atmosphere here, particularly being in the Red Bull car (Ferrari) around this place is pretty epic. The support here is fantastic from the fans here in the paddock.
“”We haven’t had a trophy for a while so it is nice to have this one.”
Lawson had made a good start from pole position and immediately pulled a one-second gap on the opening lap ahead of Götz and Indian Arjun Maini.
He continued to extend this lead each lap until he headed into the pit lane for fresh tyres on lap eight. DTM runner-up Nico Müller (SUI, Rosberg Audi) and Belgian Esteban Muth (Lamborghini) delayed their pitstop until later in the race, holding the lead until Lawson overtook both to then lead until the chequered flag.
With three-points for pole position and 25 for the win, Lawson moves back into third overall just 31-points behind leader Kelvin van der Linde who finished in fifth.
Sunday sees qualifying and a second race for the weekend.
Driver Standings (Top 5)
1/ Kelvin van der Linde 139
2/ Maximillian Gotz 116
3/ Liam Lawson 108
4/ Marco Wittman 100
5/ Alex Albon 94