Aggressive pass helps Liam Lawson to Formula Two victory in France

Source: Radio New Zealand

Liam Lawson has claimed his second win of the Formula Two season.

Liam Lawson celebrates his victory in France.

The young New Zealand driver flew to a sprint race victory in round nine of the championship in France on Sunday (NZ time).

Lawson started from second but was down into third off the line behind Marcus Armstrong.

However he stayed hot on his countryman's heels and produced a superb pass to retake second on lap four, making a late lunge on Armstrong into turn eight as the pair went wheel before Lawson eventually emerged ahead.

He then reeled in leader Jehan Daruvala, while there was also a mid-race safety car, and with five laps remaining it was again at turn eight where the Kiwi made the decisive move.

Lawson was then able to pull out of DRS range and drive on to win by more than three seconds.

After the race, Lawson admitted his pass on Armstrong was a wild one.

"Honestly, I gave myself a fright when I went to lunge on the inside," the 20-year-old said.

"I wasn't expecting to brake so early, so I kind of was half avoiding, half going for it.

"But I realised very quickly that we had a good car, especially on brakes, and through that sector I was able to get quite close to use DRS, so thanks to Carlin and everybody for making it possible, it was a good race."

Armstrong crossed the line ninth but was relegated to 13th after he was handed a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Daruvala on lap 19.

The win elevated Lawson to sixth in the championship standings.

But, after what had been a mixed season so far, he remained determined to back the victory up in Sunday night's feature race in France.

"First things first, I need to sort my starts," he said.

"If you have a perfect start, you can easily jump an entire row if not more. So, the goal tomorrow is trying to get a good start. If we can move forward in the first lap, that's the target.

'We showed today that overtaking is possible for us. So, if the speed is there again, which I believe [will be], we can potentially make some moves during the race."