Following his second full weekend as a Formula 1 driver, a “fantastic” performance saw AlphaTauri driver Liam Lawson scoring the first points of his career in the series, finishing in ninth place at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, the outfit’s best result of the season.
Liam Lawson, who is subbing in for injured Daniel Ricciardo at the wheel of the AlphaTauri AT04, secured his maiden points in Formula One at the Singapore GP last weekend, crossing the finish line in ninth place in only his third start.
As a result, the 21-year-old became the sixth driver from New Zealand to score points at the pinnacle of motorsport.
After the race, the young driver assessed his weekend in Singapore, asserting: “I would’ve liked a few more Grands Prix to prepare for this one, but obviously, when you get the opportunity, you have to take it with both hands.
“Honestly, that’s what I’m trying to do, and today was fantastic. I’m happy with the race, and I definitely gave it everything because I think we maximized the car’s performance.”
In addition, he remarked: “I need to look at the start because it’s been two weekends in a row that I lost positions, so it makes our lives harder.
“We stayed out of trouble for the rest of the race and kept it clean. It’s hard when you’re struggling for pace, trying to maximize your tools and get everything out of it, so the race was physically demanding.”
“At the end of the day, I’m really happy to have scored two points.”
This season, the Red Bull Junior holds the role of reserve driver for AlphaTauri, combined with his driving duties in the Japan-based Super Formula championship, where he stands second.
However, when an unfortunate crash into the barriers at Zandvoort early in FP2 prevented Ricciardo from continuing his duties, the New Zealander got the called up to step in from FP3 onwards, becoming the 10th driver from his country to contest an F1 Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, 34, took avoiding action against fellow countryman Oscar Piastri, who had crashed his McLaren into the barriers just ahead, when taking part in his third racing weekend since returning to Formula One, the first since race action resumed following the summer break.
Following the accident at Turn 3, the Australian driver headed to the local hospital for further examinations; an X-ray revealed a break to a metacarpal on his left hand, which led to surgery in his left wrist.
The charismatic eight-time GP winner joined the Faenza outfit on loan from Red Bull Racing in Hungary, replacing Nyck De Vries, sacked by the team mid-season.
Thus far, he has missed the championship rounds at Zandvoort, Monza, and Singapore.
A return at the upcoming Japanese GP in Suzuka seems unlikely, albeit he was present in Singapore for engineering duties with the squad.
Furthermore, Lawson became the 350th driver to score points in a Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix on Sunday.