At Scuderia AlphaTauri, there was mixed emotion at the 2023 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix. Liam Lawson secured a brilliant top 10 finish in just his third F1 Grand Prix, but Yuki Tsunoda suffered a car failure after contact damaged his cooling system on the opening lap.
21-year-old New Zealand driver Lawson, who stepped into the AlphaTauri car to fill in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, drove a superb race from 10th on the grid to finish in ninth place and score his first F1 points for the team after impressing during his two previous outings at the Dutch and Italian Grands Prix.
I would’ve liked a few more Grands Prix to prepare for this one, but obviously, when you get the opportunity, you have to take it with both hands. Honestly, that’s what I’m trying to do, and today was fantastic. I’m happy with the race, and I definitely gave it everything because I think we maximised the car’s performance. I need to look at the start because it’s been two weekends in a row that I lost positions, which makes our lives harder. We stayed out of trouble for the rest of the race and kept it clean. It’s hard when you’re struggling for pace, trying to maximise your tools and get everything out of it, so the race was physically demanding. At the end of the day, I’m really happy to have scored two points.
Firstly, congratulations to Liam for scoring points, especially as his first time in F1 in Singapore. He did well. For me, I’m very frustrated because it seems we haven’t had a clean weekend in the last two races, especially after the team brought massive developments to Singapore. I had a good start but made contact on the first lap, and our side pod got damaged along with the radiator and cooling system, so we had to retire. It’s frustrating and a shame I wasn’t able to reach the chequered flag. I feel very sorry for the team because I didn’t get the opportunity to extract the performance, and there’s definitely the pace to score points.
JODY EGGINTON – Technical Director
As usual, Singapore was not a straightforward race, and we were down to one car after the first lap. Yuki having to retire with damage after contact through no fault of his own was disappointing, as he had shown a very strong pace in the Friday long runs. The race soon settled down, and Liam ran in a train of cars behind the Haas, waiting for the pit window to open. When the Safety Car came, we, like the majority, boxed for a set of hard compound tyres. However, although we jumped Hulkenburg, we lost out to Piastri and ended up in the same train, moving into the point-scoring positions when the cars that stayed out were finally pitted. From that point onwards, Liam did a fantastic job of managing his tyres, making moves where possible and returning consistent lap times. He was defending against several cars and performed some strong moves to keep in the points and bring the car home for very well-deserved first F1 points.
Everyone in Faenza and Bicester has been working flat out to deliver this update, and tonight’s points-scoring result is a good reward for the big efforts made by the factory, trackside and drivers. It’s been a very busy weekend, but we’re all looking forward to Japan and taking the next step in extracting performance from this update and the aero parts which will follow.