The youngest driver in FIA Formula 3 will start from pole position for the second race at Silverstone tonight, when 17-year-old Liam Lawson lines up in front of the 29 other drivers.
The young Kiwi champion, and Red Bull Junior Driver, gained the spot by finishing eighth in the first race of the weekend at the British Grand Prix meeting.
Lawson had started from grid seven, his best qualifying effort of the season, but lost one place midway through the opening race. The top eight finishing order from race one is then reversed to set the grid for race two, putting Lawson on pole.
“Pretty amazing to be starting off pole, even if it is because of the reverse grid,” said Lawson, who doesn’t under-estimate how difficult it will be to stay in front.
“We need to make our car work better. We struggled for pace and the rears [tyres] went off too quickly.”
Lawson says his Porter Group/Turners/Giltrap Group supported car is set up to work best when following other cars during the racing but now that he’s starting from the pole, that’s another area for his MP Motorsport team to work on overnight.
The opening race was won by Lawson’s Red Bull Junior teammate Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix) who held off several stern challenges to lead from start to finish. Behind him came the Prema Racing cars of championship leader Jehan Daruvala, and fellow Kiwi Marcus Armstrong.
The race is at 7.35 tonight NZ time, a support race to the 74th British GP.
Race 1: Silverstone – top 10.
- Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix)
- Jehan Daruvala (Prema Racing) +0.811s
- Marcus Armstrong (Prema Racing) +1.313
- Leonardo Pulcini (Hitech Grand Prix) +1.938
- Robert Shwartzman (Prema Racing) +2.236
- Pedro Piquet (Trident) +5.301
- Christian Lundgaard (ART Grand Prix) +6.835
- Liam Lawson (MP Motorsport) +7.106
- Jake Hughes (HWA RACELAB) +7.305
- Alex Peroni (Campos Racing) +8.316
- Daruvala 102 points
- Shwartzman 100
- Vips 92
- Armstrong 69
- Piquet 43
- Max Fewtrell (ART Grand Prix) 37
- Hughes 31
- Lundgaard 30
- Pulcini 20
- Nico Kari (Trident) 15
- Liam Lawson 12