Despite tricky conditions and a shortened practice session in Jeddah, Liam Lawson believes that it was a good stint for Carlin, with the New Zealander confident that he and his team know what to work on and how to do it.

Lawson placed second, 0.150s off Felipe Drugovich, in Free Practice as two Red Flags restricted run-time ahead of Qualifying.

“Like everybody, we didn’t get to do anywhere near the run plan that we expected,” Lawson said. “The track was really dusty, so it was quite tricky at the start and really slippery.

“It is still a high grip track, but because of how the conditions were, it was a little sketchier than we thought it would be, but it is still a very, very high grip track - so much so that you feel it in the steering. It is a lot heavier and quite physical.

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Lawson is second in the Drivers Championship
Lawson is second in the Drivers' Championship

“The session for us was good, though. We know the things we need to improve on for Qualifying. By the second run, everybody will probably be in tune with what to do, so it will be a lot closer.”

Although he enjoyed a less than ideal Qualifying session in Sakhir, placing sixth, Lawson still managed to take a double podium in Round 1 to depart Bahrain second in the standings, just one point behind Théo Pourchaire.

The Carlin racer will be looking to start higher up in the second round and hopes that an improved track surface can make their life easier.

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Lawson finished P2 in Free Practice
Lawson finished P2 in Free Practice

“The lap times will be a lot faster once everybody has driven on the track more,” he continued. “The track should be cleaner, so it will be a lot better for us and a lot more consistent to drive on. It will also be cooler, and with the softer tyres, it should be a lot faster.

“Our aim is to be as high up the field as we can, we are obviously going for pole, but the aim is to be starting higher up than we did in Bahrain, which will be important.

“I would like to be on the front row, but we'll see how Quali goes and then just try and bag as many points as we can. We know what we need to work on and if we can do that, we’ll be in a good position.”