Disappointment looms for Liam Lawson as Suzuka red flag dashes Super Formula title hopes

Spread the love

After a 5-race stint in Formula One, Liam Lawson heads back to Japan for Super Formula’s last race weekend, where he has a significant chance of winning the championship. However, the title race took a sudden twist due to a high-speed crash at 130R, resulting in the race being ended early after just five laps.

While this chaotic race threw many contenders for a loop, Lawson suffered the most from the red flag interruption.

Liam Lawson

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

On Saturday, he started with a challenging qualifying session that saw him start from the seventh position while his title rivals, Ritomo Miyata and Tomoki Nojiri, secured the front row.

As the race got underway, Lawson found himself in a precarious position, and his chances to close the gap to the championship leaders began to diminish.

Soon after, a terrifying crash between Hiroki Otsu and Ukyo Sasahara that spanned from 130R to Degner 1 led to the premature halting of the race. Sashara’s chassis cleared the catch fence and ended on a slope behind the barrier before the first Degner.

As the race was truncated and the results declared early, Lawson officially finished in sixth place, behind Sho Tsuboi, and only half of the points were awarded to the top 10 finishers. This outcome has severely impacted his chances of closing the gap to the championship leader and winning it tomorrow.

Talking to Motorsport.com, Lawson revealed his frustration over the shaky qualifying session he had, saying: “Qualifying was obviously frustrating. We had done 95% of the lap, and then a red flag came out. And everybody else had spare tyres. And I didn’t have spare tyres, so I had to reuse the same set of tyres.

He explained that the lack of fresh tyres hampered his chances due to a previous crash at Motegi in August: “It’s a shame, to be honest, because the qualifying lap was really good before the red flag.”

Lawson’s disappointment was evident as he speculated on what could have been, saying: “I was 0.0s with Tomoki before the chicane.”

“Let’s say if I have a bad chicane, I lose a tenth; it’s P2.”

Liam Lawson
Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

After today’s race, Lawson finds himself 15 points adrift of championship leader Ritomo Miyata, with Tomoki Nojiri holding an 8.5-point lead over him in second place.

With the title fight hanging by a thread, Lawson conceded that his chances depend on the misfortune of the top two contenders in the upcoming Suzuka finale on Sunday: “It’s going to be very tough for us.”

“I need them to not finish. Obviously, I’m going to try and win the race and go as fast as I can, but I would need them to have a really bad race.”