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Super Formula Suzuka II

Lawson: Red Bull F1 decision doesn't change Super Formula outlook

Liam Lawson has said the fact his immediate future in Formula 1 has been decided by Red Bull doesn't change his mindset heading into this weekend's Super Formula title decider at Suzuka.

Liam Lawson, Reserve Driver, Red Bull Racing

Since his last outing in the Japanese championship two months ago, Team Mugen driver Lawson has contested five grands prix as a substitute driver with AlphaTauri, but has also learned that he will not be a regular driver for the team in 2024.

It means he faces a year on the sidelines while being on call for both the AlphaTauri and Red Bull squads in F1.

But Lawson feels that even though whatever happens this weekend at Suzuka will have no bearing on his immediate future, Red Bull will still take his Super Formula record into account when determining the New Zealander's plans in the coming years.

"Honestly, it doesn’t change a lot," said Lawson when asked by Autosport how his mindset has changed since the Motegi round in August.

"It’s good to have done a lot of racing, but in terms of my future and pressure for the weekend, it doesn’t change a lot. It’s like any other weekend.

"This week is still very important for my future, regardless of whether I’m driving in F1 next year or not, so what I felt before at Motegi, before next year’s seats were decided, it’s the same feeling now.

"There’s definitely still pressure [from Red Bull], always! But personally, regardless of whether I’m in F1 or not next year, it doesn’t change. This weekend will still be judged very heavily by them."

 

Lawson heads into the Suzuka double-header facing an eight-point deficit to TOM'S driver Ritomo Miyata, with the second Mugen car of Nojiri just a further two points back in third.

Although his chief engineer Tomo Koike suggested that Lawson racing in F1 at Suzuka last month could give him an edge for this weekend, the Kiwi himself batted off that theory.

He added he will need to readjust his driving style to suit the lighter Super Formula car during Friday afternoon's single practice session, ahead of qualifying for the opening race on Saturday morning.

"To be honest, I don’t think it’s a huge advantage," said Lawson of his F1 outings. "It’s great that I drove at Suzuka recently, but all of us drivers know Suzuka very well. 

"The car is very different to drive. The lap time is not crazy different, five or six seconds, but the feeling in the car is very different.

"It took me quite a few sessions to learn when I first drove in F1. Today will be a big adjustment, re-adjusting to the car."

Motorsport.tv is showing all Super Formula qualifying sessions and races live in 2023. Click here for further information and to sign up today.

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