Lawson endorses Japan’s Super Formula as alternative proving ground for F1

Lawson was drafted in as a late replacement for Daniel Ricciardo at Zandvoort after the Australian suffered an injury in practice.


Liam Lawson believes Super Formula cars are much closer to Formula 1 than the current generation of Formula 2 cars, and that racing in the series has helped him step up at short notice to the sport’s highest level.

Lawson, who starred at Zandvoort after substituting for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, moved to Japan following two seasons in F2 and is currently second in the country’s highest level open-wheel championship, taking three wins.

“Honestly. It’s, it’s been a significant step up to what I’ve been doing in the past the cars are a lot closer to F1 than Formula 2,” said Lawson exclusively to Total

“For that reason, it’s been good to be driving that. And I think it’s helped to prepare for something like this. 

“I would highly recommend [Super Formula] if you’re in a situation where you’ve done Formula 2, and there’s not much point in doing another season, for me [it is] the clear move.”

Time of the essence

With Ricciardo still recovering from his shunt, Lawson will get a second bite of the cherry in Sunday’s Italian GP.

For Lawson, a second chance to impress comes with neither Red Bull nor AlphaTauri’s lineups confirmed for 2024, meaning an impressive outing at Monza may secure a full-time F1 graduation. 

“You only get one shot at F1, and whenever that comes, you need to make the most of it said Lawson. “So, for me, it’s come right now. 

“This will be the one opportunity I’m going to get judged on. So yeah, it’s very important.”

Horner praise

Although he picked up a penalty for impeding when pitting during a chaotic first round of stops, Lawson acquitted himself well in tricky conditions at Zandvoort, driving a steady race to finish 13th.

His relatively clean drive impressed several paddock observers, including Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who praised the young Kiwi’s ability to adapt to an unfamiliar car.

“In very difficult circumstances, in a car, he’d never driven and having missed out on the Friday running, at a tricky track, in rainy conditions, it was very tough for him,” said Horner told media at Monza.

“I thought he acquitted himself very well, very mature, and did a solid job during the race, so I think he ticked all the boxes.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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