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Liam Lawson

Lawson reacts to ‘sketchy’ F1 debut

Lawson battled the conditions to finish 13th on his F1 debut

Lawson Zandvoort wet
To news overview © XPBimages

Liam Lawson was left pleased with his Formula 1 debut at the Dutch Grand Prix after mixed conditions complicated proceedings.

With the entire field on slicks to start the race, drama followed as rain hit Zandvoort on the opening lap, leaving a frantic switch to Intermediates.

Lawson, who was called up to replace Daniel Ricciardo after the Australian broke a metacarpal in his left hand when crashing in FP2, was one of the first to pit and made his way up the order, only to fall backwards with a 10-second penalty for impeding in the pit lane.

The rain abated to force a switch back to slicks, only for a torrential downpour and a crash for Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu to trigger a late race red flag period.

However, amid the challenging conditions, Lawson brought his car home in 13th place.

“It was a little bit sketchy,” he told media including RacingNews365.com. “The conditions were all over the place.

“Rolling up to the grid, it started raining. It definitely wasn't the best feeling. But throughout the race, I was obviously learning a huge amount.

“The first part wasn't the best. We lost a lot of time with the stacking in the pit stop, and then the penalty [for impeding Kevin Magnussen].

“So that's all part of it, obviously. But the second half, I think I started to get a bit of feeling on the Soft and the clean air and then on the Inters as well. I felt a lot more comfortable than yesterday, that's for sure.

“You always look back and reflect on this and there's definitely things I would have liked to do better but I think yeah, I'm reasonably satisfied.”

Lawson was engaged in a wheel-to-wheel battle with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc before the Monégasque retried due to car damage picked up early in the race.

While the New Zealander admitted he was left frustrated during the battle, he relished the opportunity to gather F1 combat experience under his belt.

“That was quite eventful to be fair,” he said.

“I think he was struggling a lot on Softs and every time I passed him, he just passed me back down the straight.

“So a little bit frustrating, but obviously it's good to get experience.

“I feel like I had experience of every situation in that race with multiple pitstops, wheel-to-wheel racing rain, dry. So it was a good learning experience.”

F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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