Lawson recounts ‘daunting’ Bathurst F1 outing
By Mat Coch
Saturday 4th February, 2023 - 2:23pm
Liam Lawson described his Formula 1 outing at the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour as ‘really crazy’.
The New Zealander completed a demonstration run at Mount Panorama between the first two qualifying sessions.
Speaking with Speedcafe.com earlier in the day, he confessed that he would not be pursuing Jenson Button’s benchmark time set in 2011.
That proved to be true, with unofficial timings logging a 2:03 lap time, with his laps interrupted by donuts for the crowd.
Nonetheless, he managed to open up the RB7, the car which won the 2011 Formula 1 world championship in the hands of Sebastian Vettel, at points.
“Just crazy,” Lawson told Speedcafe.com after his Bathurst outing.
“Just really crazy. The first lap was honestly very daunting going up the hill with all the elevation, and I was quite nervous.
“But by the second lap I actually got quite comfortable and the car was really good, so I loved it.”
The car, now used for demonstrations like that performed by Lawson in Bathurst, was specially set up for the occasion.
It ran a much higher ride-height than it did during its competitive career, during the era of blown diffusers.
As a result, the car produced car less downforce than before.
“At points it was a bit rough, but for a Formula 1 car on this place, I expected it to be worse,” he said of the ride.
As he descended the Mountain, the 20-year-old was able to stick to the racing line with ease, without lifting wheels or placing undue stress on the car.
“Just felt cool, just felt really cool,” he said of snaking his way from Brock Skyline to Conrod Straight.
“Down Conrod, we were completely flat and was through The Chase, braking at like, I don’t know, 120 metres.
“It was so, so cool.
“It wanders a lot,” he added.
“I was like ‘Oh my God’ trying to keep it in a straight line, but once you get used to it, it’s okay.”
While Lawson didn’t attempt to set a meaningful lap, sources suggested to Speedcafe.com that, had the car been specifically prepared to tackle the Mountain at full tilt, a time in the 1:30s was possible.
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