Liam Lawson got his and Hitech Grand Prix’s title challenge underway in stylish circumstances with his first FIA Formula 3 win in Race 2 at the Red Bull Ring.
The Kiwi was a composed presence out in front, rising from fifth to first in the opening laps, before overcoming a late struggle with the degradation of his tyres.
“I had a really good start,” commented Lawson. “I got one overtake into Turn 1 and then I was able to get passed Richard (Verschoor) on the next straight.
“I think that I used a lot of the tyre up trying to get through to the front, because I knew that if I waited and pushed towards the end, then it wouldn’t have really worked out, because we struggled with the shifts today, so I tried to get there as quickly as I could. That meant that when I got there, I didn’t really have much tyre left, so from about halfway through the race, pretty much as soon as Richard got to second, it was a struggle to keep that gap and to keep him out of DRS.”
Richard Verschoor followed Lawson over the line for his highest finish in F3, ahead of polesitter Clement Novalak, who claimed both his, and Carlin Buzz Racing’s first podium in the Championship.
David Beckmann will be disappointed to finish just fourth, having clawed his way into the lead in the opening stages of the race, but the Trident man was unable to hold off the eventual front three.
Race 1 winner Oscar Piastri managed to make up two places from 10th to eighth. While, further down the field, Jake Hughes put on a dazzling display, fighting his way to 12th, having started all the way back in 28th.
The FIA Formula 3 Championship returns to the Red Bull Ring next weekend for round two.
“I think Quali was our biggest struggle this weekend and it is definitely what we need to work on next weekend,” Lawson said. “We will be going onto a different compound as well, so that is something that we will have to try and get on top of quickly, because we struggled to turn the tyre on in Quali on Friday, so hopefully we can work on that next week.”