Reflecting on his qualifying display, in Singapore Lawson said: “I think pretty happy, to get to Q3 is obviously positive, but I think we missed the window a little bit in Q3, so a little disappointing.
“I think the car has been pretty strong this weekend and we had the potential to be up there so it’s a bit of a shame, but obviously, for me, I’m still building up and still learning and there’s more to come.”
Pressed on whether he had ‘missed the window’ in terms of the run plan, he explained: “Just warm up to be honest, the way the track was evolving, and the temperature was dropping maybe, we maybe missed the window a little bit.
“It was difficult as well with traffic, [the] last sector was obviously pretty chaotic at points. I think it’s just one of those things, obviously really small margins and something we’ll look at. Potentially something I did in the car, so [plenty] to look from.”
AlphaTauri currently languish bottom of the Constructors’ Championship with only three points so far, but the team has introduced a Red Bull-inspired upgrade this weekend in a bid to prop up the pecking order.
Lawson believes the new parts have predominantly delivered what the Faenza side expected – however, he asserts it will need to visit more conventional race tracks to get a more accurate assessment.
“It’s definitely a challenging place, and obviously we’re trying to figure out the differences with the upgrade and how to maximise it and this is not really the ideal circuit to do that, so we’re doing what we can, and it’s definitely an improvement and it’s working, but it’s not the circuit where we see clear differences and it will potentially take time to figure out how to maximise it,” he explained.
When asked if he was now targeting a maiden points finish in Sunday’s race, Lawson added: “For sure, but it’s a long race, very long, especially here, so they’ll be a lot to absorb and learn along the way, it’s really about being in that fight at the end of the race.”
AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, meanwhile, will line-up 14th on the grid, having been obstructed in Q2 by Verstappen before locking up on his final flying run.