Red Bull protégé Liam Lawson secured his third Super Formula victory of the season at Fuji Speedway on Sunday.

Lawson used the undercut to overhaul pole sitter Tadasuke Makino for the lead and from there retained a comfortable buffer over his opponent.

Lawson has been the reserve driver for Red Bull and AlphaTauri in Formula 1 since 2022.

AlphaTauri confirmed earlier in the week that Daniel Ricciardo will join Yuki Tsunoda for the remainder of 2023, in place of Nyck de Vries, but the team’s 2024 line-up remains open.

Lawson’s win, his third from six starts, enabled him to close to within a point of Ritomo Miyata in the standings.

“It all came down to my out lap and making the undercut,” said Lawson. “We had a number of strategies we could use but of course, you don’t know what they are going to do.

“Before the stop, honestly I did not have a way to get past him. I could hold onto him but getting in a position to make a pass, I was struggling to do that.”

“We decided to stop and they followed but my out lap was really quick so when he came out on cold tyres I was right there and in a couple of corners I had him.”

“I managed to hold it from there, it is never as easy as it looks but we did it.

“It was a great weekend all round, I was disappointed to miss out on pole but at least we were on the front row, we need to be doing that every weekend and it hasn’t always happened for us. I think it is just getting used to the qualifying system here and getting it right every time.

“We were quick all weekend and obviously it helped that we had already been to Fuji. The next race is Motegi and that is new to me, I’ve got to learn it quickly.”

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