Carlin Team Owner Trevor Carlin has hailed Championship leader Liam Lawson after the New Zealander charged to his first win of the season and his third podium from three races, praising the Red Bull junior’s ability to “make the best of a situation.”
Qualifying out of the top three in both of the opening rounds, Lawson is the only driver to finish on the podium in every race of the season so far, giving him a seven-point lead in the standings over his former Hitech Grand Prix teammate Jüri Vips.
Lawson swapped Hitech for Carlin ahead of his second year in F2 and his new boss has been delighted with the results so far.
“It is everything that we hoped for when we were chasing him to sign for us,” said Carlin. “He is delivering the goods on everything we expected, so I am pretty happy. He is a smart racer - he knows what it takes and what he needs to do. Even when he doesn't quite have the car or the tyres under him, he still performs.
“He makes the best of a situation and that is what we’ve seen from him in the last few years. He is delivering now, even when it’s not necessarily obvious that the results are going to come, he makes it happen, so I am impressed.”
Starting from sixth, in a race that included three Safety Car restarts and very little competitive running, Lawson battled his way through to first place, steering clear of the trouble and carefully managing his tyres to scamper ahead of Jake Hughes in the closing stages.
The result marked Lawson’s most consistent start to a campaign in four seasons on the Road to F1, with the Kiwi originally making his debut back in the 2019 Formula 3 campaign.
“To win a championship, you have to be consistent,” Carlin continued. “I don't know what the statistics are, but if you finish in the top six every single race then you'll be there or thereabouts for the title.
“It is going to be a team effort at the end of the day. We need to improve the car in certain places, and we need to have a little bit of luck go our way as well - we know we’ve got a fast car.”
Lawson’s last F2 pole came with Hitech Grand Prix at Round 3 of the 2021 campaign in Baku, and Carlin believes that if his team can get on top of Qualifying, then Lawson will prove difficult to stop.
“Yesterday in Qualifying was a great example,” Carlin continued. “We would have comfortably been in the top two or top three, but with the red flags and traffic, we had to use an extra lap and then at the end, we didn’t have enough fuel to do another run.
“If we had done another run at the end, then I think we'd have comfortably been on pole. So, if we can improve our Qualifying, then it will make our life a bit easier.
“But when you have such a fantastic racer on your hands, like Liam, then it is not the end of the world. He started sixth today and he won the race. With a pit stop in the Feature Race, there is no reason why we can’t be on the podium again.”