Lawson victorious for Carlin

FIA Formula 2
March 29, 2022

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes in the desert for Carlin’s FIA Formula Two team as round two saw Liam Lawson take his first victory of the2022 season in Saturday afternoon’s Sprint Race. The New Zealand native, who podiumed in both races in Bahrain, went one step better to grace the top step of the podium following an assured move for the race lead in the latter stages. However, it was a challenging weekend for teammate Logan Sargeant who sustained heavy damage to his car during qualifying and later in the Sprint Race, the Williams F1 backed driver recovered to finish 12th in Sunday’s Feature Race.

It was an incident-filled Friday with multiple red flag periods throughout the course of both Free Practice and Qualifying as the second round got underway at the Corniche Circuit. Sargeant was unlucky to find himself in the barriers in qualifying however was thankfully ok despite the heavy impact; the team were able to repair his car overnight however it meant he started both races of the weekend towards the back of the grid.

Red Bull Junior Lawson had his progress hampered by further yellow and red flags but qualified well in fifth for both races of the weekend. The shorter of the two races provided plenty of drama for both Carlin drivers. Following an initial safety car period, the field concertinaed together which was even more defined towards the back of the grid where Sargeant was waiting to deliver his recovery drive. As the leaders looked to have made their move, Jack Doohan launched early and ran straight into the back of Sargeant who had slowed in the traffic. The incident called the safety car out on track again and left Sargeant sadly out of the race.

The drama continued, as race leader Dennis Hauger ran through the pit lane while waiting to pick up the safety car which dropped him way down the order and brought Lawson into contention when the race got back underway. Lawson was quick to capitalise on his obvious advantage and had soon passed Calan Williams for second place and set his sights on Jake Hughes ahead; Lawson made the move for the lead look easy as he sped down the main straight and went on to pull a strong gap to take his first victory of the 2022 season.

Lawson said of his victory, “I’m super happy with the race today. It was a race of survival to be honest where I tried to just stay out of trouble. The car was fast, and we were able to move forwards to get the win. I think we’re looking very positive with a good car underneath us.”

Sunday’s longer Feature Race tipped the weekend upside down for Rodin Cars-backed racer Lawson who was released early during his mandatory pit stop before the wheel could be fully secured. Coming to a stop at the end of the pit lane, the New Zealander’s race was over.

Sargeant meanwhile looked to gain something back from his weekend to forget and made solid progress up to 12th as the chequered flag fell.

The team now look ahead to testing in Barcelona next month before racing resumes in Imola at the end of April.