Lawson ‘a little disappointed’ despite out-qualifying Red Bull pair

Formula 1

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Liam Lawson felt he could have done even better in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix despite out-qualifying both Red Bull drivers as well as his team mate.

The rookie driver is in his third event driving for Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri as a substitute for the injured Daniel Ricciardo. He caused a sensation by reaching Q3 at the expense of championship leader Max Verstappen in qualifying yesterday.

Lawson will start today’s race from 10th on the grid. Nonetheless he believes he could have claimed a higher starting position.

“I’m pretty happy,” he said. “To get to Q3 is obviously positive. “But I think we missed the window a little bit in Q3, so a little bit disappointing.

“The car has been pretty strong this weekend and we had the potential to be up there. So it’s a bit of a shame. But I’m still building up and still learning and there’s more to come.”

Lawson was almost half a second slower than the next driver ahead of him in Q3 pack. He believes his deficit was due to a combination of factors, including the difficulty of getting his tyres up to temperature.

“The way the track was evolving and the temperature was dropping, maybe I think we just missed the window a little bit,” he said. “It was difficult as well with traffic. The last sector was obviously pretty chaotic at points, so I think it’s just one of those things.

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“Obviously it’s really small margins and something we’ll look at. Potentially something I did as well in the car so just need to learn from it.”

The 21-year-old admitted he isn’t relishing the prospect of lining up one place ahead of world champion Verstappen. “To be honest, of all the drivers, he’s not the guy I want to start next to,” he said. “But obviously we’ll see what happens, it’s going to be a long race.”

Lawson expects Verstappen and his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez won’t take long to catch him in the race. “Their race pace is normally very strong and they’re out of position where they are so they’ll be coming through,” he said, indicating he is unlikely to offer resistance. “For us, we’ll be focusing on our own race.”

Lawson’s team mate Yuki Tsunoda qualified 15th after he failed to set a lap time in Q2. He was impeded by Verstappen earlier in the session then after aborted his final run.

“I went straight into [turn] 14,” he explained. “I had a lock-up and this is my mistake.”

Tsunoda was stunned by his reversal in fortunes after topping the times in Q1. “It’s so incredibly frustrating because the car pace seems really good.”

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Author information

Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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