Carlin Deputy Team Principal Stephanie Carlin says that the team is finally getting the results it deserves this season. Liam Lawson claimed his second win of the 2022 campaign after fighting back from a poor start, pulling off two brave passes for the victory.
Lawson’s victory was his second of the season and first since Round 2 in the Jeddah Sprint Race. The New Zealander dropped as low as fourth on the opening lap but pulled off moves against Felipe Drugovich, Marcus Armstrong and Jehan Daruvala on the way to the chequered flag. Carlin says that the result was a long time coming for the Red Bull junior driver.
“Really happy. It's great for the team. It's been a bit of a tough season in a way because we've had pace throughout every event. We've been there, the car has been there so to have this bit of a surge from the midpoint of the season, back to where we think we should be after some bad luck and a few things going the wrong way for us, it's just a really great result.”
Lawson’s win marked Carlin’s fourth of the season, split evenly between the New Zealand native and teammate Logan Sargeant. It puts the British outfit level with MP Motorsport for most victories this campaign, and Carlin believes there is yet more pace to come from the team in the next phase of the season.
“I think we've actually got a good car everywhere this year. I think the second half of the season tends to suit us well. Liam's been praising how good our brakes are and he said that this is a circuit where really good braking is such positive both in defending and attacking. So I think he benefited from that today. He said the car was just great to drive and we really haven't made many changes to it at all over the weekend so far. There's not been around more set-up change. I think it's just a track that suits us.”
While Sargeant had the most recent wins up until Saturday’s Sprint success at Le Castellet, Carlin believes that the win could reinvigorate Lawson’s form moving forward.
He had started the season with three consecutive podiums, but a series of retirements and misfortune has kept Lawson out of the top five for much of the year. Following his win though, he is now just a point from breaking back into the mix.
“It's really interesting, because obviously you’ve got to prepare with the drivers throughout the weekend and this weekend, just before they get in the car, there was something about Liam this weekend and today that made me think that he wasn't going to give up very easily. We weren't that surprised to see him doing what he was doing and fighting so hard and I kind of felt like he got a lot of his confidence back today which is so important for a driver and I had a feeling that he was going to keep pushing until he got to the front.
“As we keep saying the pace has always been there. So it's not as if it's something that has suddenly been found but I think mental competence is such a really big important thing for a driver. Often through no fault of his own, Liam has lost out a little bit over the last few races. So I think this will be a really big boost for him and I think he'll be interesting to watch tomorrow in the Feature Race.”
Carlin admits that by no means will the victory grant Carlin future successes in itself. The team will keep working hard to keep up and extend the advantage in the Team’s Standings beyond the seven points currently separating it from MP Motorsport in second.
Sargeant will start the Feature Race from pole position on Sunday and Carlin hopes he can secure a clean sweep for the team in Le Castellet. Previous form bodes well for them - Sargeant started from pole at Silverstone and went on to secure victory in the Feature event, climbing up the standings and putting himself in contention in the Drivers' Championship.
“For us, it just tells us that we're back where we need to be. You can't take anything for granted with the depth of talent. Drivers and teams are so exceptional that it can swing in one race weekend. It's really important that we remain focused. Just because we're starting from pole tomorrow doesn't mean a guaranteed any kind of result. There's so many factors to take into consideration. There's potential incidents, accidents, tyre deg, pit stops. All kinds of a myriad of things need to come together for it to be a positive result. So we just want to concentrate, keep our heads down and take it in session by session.”