2017 CAMS Australian Formula 4 runner-up Liam Lawson impressed on his F3 Asian Championship debut, in the fifth and final round of the year in Malaysia.
Fresh from a season in German F4, Lawson became the fifth driver in the world to be victorious in the latest generation FIA Formula 3-specification car. This was despite a misfire impacting his practice efforts, which hampered his adjustment to both a new car and track for Lawson.
Lawson discovered speed when it mattered most though, claiming pole position by more than half a second across both qualifying sessions. The New Zealander backed up his qualifying performance in the opening race, victorious by eight seconds over Ye Yifei.
“I knew we had a really fast car but unfortunately I got a really bad start and dropped to third. I was able to regain the lead on lap one and then control the race from there,” Lawson said.
Alongside the new car and track, Lawson was also adapting to the stifling Malaysian heat and racing under lights at the Sepang Circuit.
“I raced a kart when I was 8-years-old under lights but this was my first real night race. I really enjoyed it and I think we should have more of them,” Lawson said.
Lawson decimated his opposition in the second race to win by more than 20 seconds over Raoul Hyman.
“It’s definitely hotter today. Once again our car was unbelievable,” Lawson said.
“From the start I felt as the tyres go off, the balance gets better and better and it was really nice to drive but I’m really struggling in this heat.”
It was a clean sweep in the third and final race, with Lawson again victorious by 4 seconds over Tomoki Takahashi.
The F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA will return in 2019, with Sepang also hosting their season opening round on April 6–7.