Motorsport: Kiwi Liam Lawson moves on from Formula Two, joins Japanese Super Formula champions Team Mugen for 2023

Kiwi Liam Lawson has taken the next step in his journey to try and reach Formula One, signing on to race in Japan's Super Formula championship in 2023.

Despite an impressive season that saw the 20-year-old finish third in Formula Two, Lawson missed out on a Formula One seat with Alpha Tauri, which instead went to Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries.

As a result, Red Bull junior driver Lawson has traded Formula Two for Japan, where he'll race for reigning champions Team Mugen.

Liam Lawson.
Liam Lawson. Photo credit: Getty Images

Lawson won four races in the 2022 Formula Two season, only champion Felipe Drugovich won more.

After the end of the Formula Two season, Lawson spent time in Japan testing a Super Formula car, before his switch was confirmed.

Super Formula has a healthy history of producing Formula One drivers, most recently seeing the likes of new Alpine driver Pierre Gasly compete in 2017, before moving to Toro Rosso (now Alpha Tauri) in 2018.

Former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne also raced in Japan before moving to Formula One, along with the likes of Ralf Schumacher Pedro de la Rosa, Stefan Johansson and Eddie Irvine among others.

Fellow Kiwi Nick Cassidy has also competed in Super Formula, winning the title in 2019.

The 2023 Super Formula championship begins on April 7 at Fuji Speedway.

Lawson has already been backed by Red Bull in his quest to reach Formula One.

The Pukekohe native completed practice sessions with sister outfit Alpha Tauri in Belgium and Mexico, before stepping up to the Red Bull senior team at Formula One's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Stepping into the car of world champion Max Verstappen, Lawson impressed by recording the fifth fastest lap of the first practice session, ahead of four-time title winner Sebastian Vettel.