Liam Lawson says that he “made the most” of the opportunities that were presented to him during the Sprint Race at Imola, as he recovered to eighth place after lining up in 14th.
The Carlin Racing driver endured a difficult qualifying session on Friday, suffering his worst result of the season to date. He clarified what went wrong for him during the 30-minute outing on Friday evening, with rain and yellow flags creating a challenging scenario for the Sprint Race winner from last month.
“Qualifying started really good, the first run when the track was genuinely wet, we were fast,” he said. “We were sitting in P3 before everyone changed to the second set of tyres. The track dried quite a lot in between, especially sector two, it was drying up a lot.
“When we all went back out, it was pretty clear there was going to be one lap where the tyre would be OK. Because the wets are extremely soft, after that, they just fall off. When you drive wets on a dry surface, it just completely destroys the tyre.
“So I started my push lap and I got traffic and had to abort. Then I did another lap and got a yellow flag in sector two from Jehan (Daruvala) spinning. Then it was the lap after that that I finally put a lap in but the tyres were just off the cliff completely.
“Not ideal… I think we made the most of it today with a decent recovery. Tomorrow I hope we can do something different with strategy, depending what the weather does as well. Basically, I just got to make the most of this weekend now going forwards and do a better job next time.”
A bulk of Lawson’s overtaking in the Sprint Race today was done on the opening lap, as he moved ahead of several cars as they all jostled for position in front of him. However, overtaking proved to be tricky at the Italian circuit, leaving him “stuck” in position for much of the remainder of the race.
“It was just a good start to be honest, a good sector one. I made four places at Turn 2 with everyone bunching up and sort of colliding together, I was lucky to drive around it,” Lawson said.
“After that I made one overtake and then from there it was just really difficult to overtake. In F3, the DRS helps quite a lot because the cars don’t have as much power and they’re quite high drag. But for us, because we have a lot of power and we’re running pretty low on aero, DRS doesn’t do very much. It gets you to the point where you can get behind them, but you can never really do anything. Just got a bit stuck. The only way to do anything tomorrow is to do something with strategy.”