Liam Lawson looking ahead to the challenges of the Singapore Grand Prix

Looking ahead to just his third Formula 1 start, Liam Lawson faces perhaps his toughest challenge yet.

The demanding street circuit at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Marina Bay offers one of the most demanding circuits of the season, from the heat and humidity drivers endure down to the course itself, which twists and turns through the streets of the Downtown Core and Kallang in Singapore. But it is a challenge that Lawson is looking forward to, for several reasons.

Starting with his family.

“I was in Singapore last year as a reserve driver. When I was a kid, it was my favorite circuit. I think because it was a night race and just looked really cool. I used to play it on the Formula 1 games all the time,” said Lawson in AlphaTauri’s media preview. “My dad actually used to promise me every year that he would take me to the Singapore Grand Prix, and in the end, we never went, but he’s going to be coming to the Grand Prix this weekend, so actually I’m taking him!”

Lawson is coming off a strong performance at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix, where he finished just outside the points in 11th place. That finish, coupled with his debut at the Dutch Grand Prix on short notice, gives him confidence as he looks ahead to his third F1 race.

“I definitely felt more comfortable in Monza than in Zandvoort, even if there’s still a lot to learn. When you get more comfortable in these kinds of cars, it can make quite a big difference. Having done two races now, I’m also getting a better understanding of the difference between the tyre compounds, which is so important,” said Lawson. “I’d say Monza was pretty successful, even if it was disappointing to finish so close to the points. I think if I had had a better start, perhaps things could have been different, but it’s something that I will learn from, and I’m just excited moving forward.”

As for Marina Bay, Lawson knows the demands the circuit puts on drivers, and also knows that the Singapore Grand Prix will be a voyage of discovery, as there are elements to the street circuit that the best simulators in the world cannot capture.

“I know this is a very tough race physically, and when you get thrown into F1 in this situation, even with all the training in the world, it’s still such a tough adjustment,” said Lawson. “It’s going to be extremely difficult, but we’ve been training for it and doing everything we can to prepare for that. Last year, I experienced the nighttime routine. It’s cool, to be honest, to go through a weekend like that. It’s a bit different to normal.

“Obviously, the biggest adjustment will be getting used to the track, as I’ve only driven it on the sim, and street circuits are probably the hardest to replicate,” added the AlphaTauri driver. “They take confidence, and when you’re new to the track, or even my situation being new to Formula 1, having that confidence early in the weekend is pretty tricky. I’ll be aiming to build up as many laps as we can, a bit like Monza, to be honest. That was the target there, and it will be a similar sort of thing.

“Generally, I like street circuits, for example, I absolutely love Monaco, so I’m expecting to enjoy Singapore too.”

Lawson’s preview comes as there is growing speculation about his future in F1, and with AlphaTauri. According to this report from Nate Saunders of ESPN, Lawson has an “outside shot” at keeping a full-time seat with AlphaTauri for 2024.

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