A clash of series has seen Kiwi driver Liam Lawson taking to the FIA F3 Championship grid at Silverstone this weekend.
The Red Bull Junior driver is competing in two series this season. This weekend the Euroformula Open Series also has a round at the Red Bull Ring in Austria which Lawson will now miss.
“It’s like a home Grand Prix almost,” smiled the 17-year-old New Zealander. “Being part of the Commonwealth of course and during the season I live just down the road. I’ve only driven here once though, that was in an F3 test last year. So I’ve got a bit of learning still to do but I think that’s true for most people.
“It’s a track that I really really like and I can’t wait to get going. We have brought some things we want to try, we need to improve as we struggled a bit last time at the Red Bull Ring. But there is limited track time here and it also depends how many tyres you want to use so we are still discussing the plan for practice and qualifying,” added the MP Motorsport driver.
PREMA Racing’s Marcus Armstrong had the early pace at the Red Bull Ring, going fastest in practice and then nabbing pole position in qualifying, but it was Hitech Grand Prix’s Jüri Vips who took the win in Race 1 after a measured drive to stand on the top step of the podium for the first time this season.
Armstrong and Championship leader Robert Shwartzman looked on course to return PREMA to winning ways in Race 2, only for the teammates to break the golden rule of racing and collide on the final lap. The New Zealander suffered a puncture and ended up P19, while the Russian was relegated to third after a time penalty meaning Jake Hughes landed his and HWA RACELAB’s first F3 win.
Shwartzman (90 points) still leads the way in the Drivers’ Championship, though his lead has been cut to just eight points by teammate Jehan Daruvala (82) in second place. Vips (63) leaps up to third after bagging 31 points in Austria, more than any other driver. PREMA (226) are still sitting pretty at the top of Teams’ Championship, 150 points in front of second-placed ART Grand Prix (76). Hitech (71) are just five points behind in third.
Silverstone Circuit is the venue for the fourth round of the championship. Famed for its high speeds, fast corners and long straights, the drivers will look to fly around the former airfield on Pirelli’s hard compound tyre. With 30 cars ducking and diving around the track, they’ll have to remain grounded if they are to come out on top during another incredible weekend of racing.