After two strong however inconclusive seasons in Components 2, a transfer to Tremendous Components was precisely what Lawson wanted to completely persuade Purple Bull of his qualities as a real F1 prospect, and he shocked the Japanese institution with a historic debut win at Fuji.
That was the primary of three victories, however a penalty, a strategic blunder and a really expensive crash at Motegi ended up denying him the title.
When he was parachuted into AlphaTauri after Daniel Ricciardo broke his hand at Zandvoort, Lawson instantly impressed, and outscored Yuki Tsunoda of their 5 races collectively. One other Purple Bull alternative will certainly loom.
5 nice ‘gaijin’ rookie Tremendous Components seasons
Ralf Schumacher (1996)
Coming to Japan off the again of success in German Components 3, the youthful brother of Michael (himself a one-time Japanese Components 3000 starter) joined the collection for its first season below the Components Nippon moniker with Group LeMans.
With three victories, Schumacher edged out team-mate Naoki Hattori and Japanese racing legend Kazuyoshi Hoshino to win the title and guide his ticket to F1 with Jordan.
Loic Duval (2006)
When Andre Lotterer was snapped up by Toyota, Honda-aligned Nakajima Racing wanted one other quick European to fill the breach. Step ahead Loic Duval, who was scouted by Satoru Nakajima in Macau after the Frenchman’s heroics there in 2005.
Like Schumacher, Duval gained his second race in Components Nippon, and whereas he might solely muster fourth total, he blew team-mate Hideki Mutoh out of the water.
Stoffel Vandoorne (2016)
Picture by: Yasushi Ishihara
Vandoorne’s Tremendous Components success led to him making a full-time transfer into F1
It was McLaren that relaunched Tremendous Components as a critical proving floor for F1 aspirants when it despatched GP2 champion Vandoorne to Japan with the backing of Honda.
In a barely odd 12 months by which not one of the established frontrunners have been constant utilizing the then-new Yokohama tyres (Yuji Kunimoto gained the title with solely 4 podiums from 9 races), Vandoorne gained twice to finish up fourth total earlier than his belated F1 call-up.
Pierre Gasly (2017)
In 2017 it was Gasly’s flip to spend a 12 months in Japan after successful the GP2 title, marking the beginning of an involvement in Tremendous Components for Purple Bull that continues to today.
The Frenchman took longer to get going than some, however back-to-back wins at Motegi and Autopolis established himself as Honda’s solely title hope. The cancellation of the Suzuka finale as a consequence of a hurricane left him half some extent shy of the crown.
Alex Palou (2019)
Palou arrived in Tremendous Components to a lot much less fanfare than both Vandoorne or Gasly, however in some ways his marketing campaign was much more spectacular as he took the struggling Nakajima Racing workforce again to the entrance of the sector.
Solely a free intercooler tube getting caught up in his rear suspension at Suzuka price the Spaniard the title on his solution to IndyCar stardom.
Picture by: Masahide Kamio
Lawson’s time in Tremendous Components will little doubt be remembered as a starring ‘gaijin’