F3 2020: Liam Lawson Wins Austrian Reverse Thriller

Liam Lawson took victory in a thrilling Austrian F3 second race. (Image credit: Joe Portlock/ Getty Images)

Hitech’s Liam Lawson survived a late fight from Richard Verschoor to clinch victory in a dramatic F3 Austrian reverse race. 

Lawson made a good start to get himself up past Verschoor into third before gradually easing his way into the lead, passing pole-sitter Clement Novalak then David Beckmann to seize the lead on lap seven.

Victory then was assured after surviving a Virtual Safety Car period followed by an actual safety car, with Verschoor failing to snatch the lead and victory upon the Safety Car restart as Novalak settled for third. 

Speaking post-race, Lawson said that he felt ‘lucky’ to benefit from the safety car period, saying; “I think that I actually got lucky with the safety car because without it, I think it would have been tough to keep him behind with DRS.”

Lawson also admitted that his qualifying still needs work “because that is one thing we struggled with this weekend and it put us on the back foot.” 

Novalak in fact got the initial perfect start off the line to lead from Beckmann who got a great start from fourth, with Lawson getting the jump on Verschoor to settle into third in the opening stages.

Yesterday’s runner-up Logan Sargeant endured a miserable race after Prema teammate, Oscar Piastri accidentally squeezed Bent Viscaal into the American, puncturing one of his rear tyres to end his chances of points. 

Beckmann displaced Novalak as race leader with a brilliant late braking move into turn four on lap four, who then lost second to Lawson after running wide when attempting a repass for the lead on the following lap.

Lawson then quickly put Beckmann under pressure and was duly rewarded on alp seven with a late braking move in the same spot where Beckmann had taken the lead from Novalak. 

Beckmann soon lost second place after Novalak managed to get past the Trident driver on lap 10 into turn three.

Alex Peroni caused a Virtual Safety Car soon afterwards when he retired on the run to turn four with a mechanical issue, which was rescinded one lap later with Verschoor getting the better start as he snatched third from Beckmann into turn four. 

Verschoor eventually took Novalak for second just three laps later with a lunge up the inside of the Carlin driver into turn three, prior to Roman Stanek causing a safety car when he smashed into polystyrene out of the final corner and dispersed it across the track. 

ART GP’s Theo Pourchaire experienced a scary moment when unlike other drivers venturing through the pits, he accidentally went round the final corner but luckily he was driving slow enough for marshals to move quickly out of the way before he got close to the scene. 

Everyone eventually manged to hold onto position upon the restart with exception of Viscaal who slipped out of the top ten after Enzo Fittipaldi and Max Fewtrell passed the German for the final point paying positions in ninth and tenth respectively. 

Jake Hughes meanwhile produced a stunning drive to recover from 28th place to 12th at the flag. 

 

Provisional Results

Position Driver Team Laps Time
1 Liam Lawson Hitech 24 37:01.698
2 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 24 + 0.417
3 Clement Novalak Carlin 24 + 1.302
4 David Beckmann Trident 24 + 1.639
5 Lirim Zendeli Trident 24 + 2.232
6 Frederik Vesti Prema 24 + 2.836
7 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP 24 + 3.090
8 Oscar Piastri* Prema 24 + 3.451
9 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab 24 + 4.090
10 Max Fewtrell Hitech 24 + 4.580
11 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 24 + 4.975
12 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab 24 + 5.437
13 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP 24 + 6.206
14 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 24 + 7.109
15 David Schumacher Charouz 24 + 8.499
16 Sophia Florsch Campos 24 + 9.159
17 Calan Williams Jenzer 24 + 9.491
18 Matteo Nannini Jenzer 24 + 9.864
19 Olli Caldwell Trident 24 + 10.949
20 Alessio Deledda Campos 24 + 11.388
21 Frederico Malvestiti Jenzer 24 + 12.050
22 Dennis Hauger Hitech 24 + 12.445
23 Roman Stanek Charouz 24 + 13.189
24 Enaam Ahmed Carlin 24 + 18.137
25 Igor Fraga Charouz 24 + 30.838
26 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 24 + 40.237
27 Logan Sargeant Prema 23 + 1 lap
28 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab 16 + 8 laps
29 Alex Peroni Campos 11 Power
30 Cameron Das Carlin 5 Wishbone
  • Oscar Piastri set fastest lap of 1m 21.513

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