[Lawson plans to finish Super Formula title bid after AlphaTauri F1 reserve outings
The Kiwi currently sits within an effective three-way title battle for the Super Formula crown, with Suzuka scheduled to host the season finale at the end of October.
He occupies second in the standings with 86 points, eight behind championship leader Ritomo Miyata and two clear of reigning champion Tomoki Nojiri. A maximum of 46 points from the Suzuka double-header remains up for grabs.
This clashes with F1’s Mexican Grand Prix, potentially leaving AlphaTauri short of a reserve driver for that weekend as Lawson generally fulfilled that role when Ricciardo replaced Nyck de Vries at the Italian outfit.
Lawson reckoned that there was plenty of time before the clash for Ricciardo to have regained full fitness, as the Australian recovers from a broken hand sustained in a practice crash at Zandvoort.
The ex-Red Bull driver is expected to return in Qatar.
“I think [I will finish the Super Formula season] at this stage, yeah,” Lawson said.
“I think there’s plenty of time before our last round for Daniel to come back. Right now it’s race by race here, but I should have enough time.”
Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT04
Photo by: Erik Junius
Lawson went straight from the previous round at Motegi to Zandvoort to pick up his usual AlphaTauri reserve duties, which quickly thrust him into the race seat in Ricciardo’s stead.
He said that the rapid turnaround in preparing for a race drive on the Friday night meant that he had forgotten to inform his Super Formula outfit Team Mugen that he would be driving.
“I never told them – it all happened very, very quickly! I’ve spoken to them since then, but it wasn’t something I actually told them!” he admitted.
“But they’ve been super supportive, all season as well, they’ve been amazing to work with and I think it’s helped honestly a lot to be ready for something like this.
“So far it’s been okay,” he added when asked to assess his first two F1 races. “Obviously a big adjustment and a lot to learn very quickly.
“I think Monza was a bit more straightforward. It was a track that I think I knew more, and with full preparation. But then I think this weekend it’s a little more tricky.
“It’s not really one thing [to get used to]. It’s a lot of things. The car is probably the biggest thing alone, but it’s stuff that comes with it, like tyres, different compounds; running inters at Zandvoort, I hadn’t done that before. Working with a much bigger team too, so I think it’s a lot of things.”