Lawson, a Red Bull driver who owns Dallara-Honda, knew how to resist a push from a group of Toyota drivers who took the next four places.
Despite the win, Lawson, the reserve driver for Red Bull and Alpha Tauri, dismissed rumors that he could make a quick jump to F1 to replace Nick de Vries. Let’s remember that the Dutchman has an ultimatum from Dr Marko to improve in the coming races and his progress will be assessed after Barcelona. Lawson said at the moment his focus is on Super Formula and winning this championship.
The New Zealander, who started from the front row, did not start well, falling to third behind Polan Sho Tsuboi and Sena Sakaguchi and almost finding himself overtaken by Miyata. Lawson was called in for an early tire change and that would put him in the lead.
After the change he passed Sakaguchi, who closed a lap later with an undercut and fell behind Tsuboi and Miyata, who delayed the change too much, probably too much because he was starting to have problems with downforce.
Lawson moved into the lead when the Miyata pitted, the last of the favorites to do so. The Japanese man was lucky as his stoppage coincided with the coming out of the safety car, leaving him in front of Tsuboi.
On the restart Lawson managed to keep the lead despite his rivals being on new tyres, and took the win and the lead. Miyata was the only one who remained with him while Tsuboi had to fend off Yamashita and Hirakawa.
It should be noted that Tomoaki Nojiri, the championship leader prior to the event, was unable to participate due to health problems.
- Liam Lawson (Honda)
- Ritomo Miyata (Toyota) 1.255
- Sho Tsuboi (Toyota) and 5.265
- Kenta Yamashita (Toyota) 5.569
- Rio Hirakawa (Toyota) 6.556
- Tadasuke Makino (Honda) 12.181