Motorsport: Liam Lawson seeking Kiwi reunion before taking on fabled Monaco circuit

When Kiwi Liam Lawson next takes the wheel in Formula Two, he won't have to look far for inspiration, as he calls on the services of compatriot Brendon Hartley.

Stepping into F2 last weekend, Lawson, 19, impressed with victory in his first outing for new team Hitech Grand Prix in Bahrain and finished the weekend with a second podium finish for good measure.

All up, Lawson sits second in the competition standings after the first weekend, with 30 points from three races - 11 points behind Chinese Guanyou Zhou.

Next up is the fabled Monaco street circuit, the most prestigious race on any driver's calendar. Lawson is no different, and will take to the Circuit de Monaco for the first time on May 20.

But if the Kiwi needs any advice on how to tackle motorsport's most iconic race, he need not look any further than fellow New Zealander and Monaco resident Hartley.

"That would definitely be the plan," Lawson tells Newshub. "I caught up with Brendon, it would have been over a year ago now. 

Brendon Hartley driving for Toro Rosso in 2018.
Brendon Hartley driving for Toro Rosso in 2018. Photo credit: Image - Photosport.

"We did some go-karting stuff together in New Zealand - that was the last time I saw him properly.

"It would definitely be something I want to do. I'm sure he'd be at the Grand Prix, so that would be really, really cool to do."

Lawson couldn't ask for a better role model than Hartley, who was the last Kiwi to drive in Formula One. Their connection extends to more than just nationality.

Hartley suited up in 25 starts for the Toro Rosso team - now Alpha Tauri - owned by Red Bull, the same academy that Lawson drives for.

"He's sort of, I guess, an idol since I was younger," says Lawson. "I only met him properly in person a couple of years ago, when I was in Formula Four and he was Formula One. 

"I was looking up to him massively. I went and introduced myself, and spoke to him a little bit there. 

"Since then, I've spoken to him quite a bit. When he made F1, he gave everyone a bit of hope again that it is possible from New Zealand."

Despite never racing in Monaco, Lawson doesn't lack experience driving the fabled streets around Monte Carlo. 

Liam Lawson wins his Formula Two debut in Bahrain.
Liam Lawson wins his Formula Two debut in Bahrain. Photo credit: Image - Getty

"I've done it a million times on a simulator," Lawson continues. "When I was growing up, I'd get the F1 game every year for Christmas and Monaco would be the track that I've spent the most time on.

"It's something that I'm super excited for. I've been to the event, but I went and watched it a couple of years ago. 

"I had the opportunity to go and see it when [Daniel] Ricciardo won in 2018. It was something that I wanted to drive on since then.

"I'm super excited to do that this year."

And despite all of his success in the desert of Sakhir, Lawson knows he must remain focussed on the rest of the season, with another seven race weekends before hopefully lifting the F2 title come December.

"You've got to be careful about how far you think ahead and not get too ahead of yourself.

"It's something I find quite important - to really focus on what we've got going on now.

"Technically, Formula Two is one step away from Formula One, but it's very common to get guys spending 4-5 years in F2 - just because it's so hard to get the break.

"There's very, very few seats every year available - not every year an F2 driver goes to F1. It's the hardest step for sure and one that can take some time. 

"The programme for me is all performance-based."

Lawson will next race in Formula Two's second round, held in Monaco from May 20-22.