Motorsports: How New Zealand’s MIQ Problems Could Affect Formula 2 Contender Liam Lawson’s Career


Its results in 2021 caught the attention of some of the most powerful names in motorsport, including a test drive with Formula 1 team AlphaTauri in December.

Along with Olympic medalists Hayden Wilde and Michael Venus, Lawson is examining the possibility of having to stay abroad as one of tens of thousands of New Zealanders currently at the mercy of the MIQ lottery booking system.

But motorsport at every level is not cheap, because sponsors play a big role in the competitiveness and development of a young driver.

Lawson is no exception, as one of two Kiwi drivers in Formula 2, the other is Marcus Armstrong, the Pukekohe native is an attractive offer for sponsors to keep up with.

However, since Lawson cannot return to New Zealand, he is now faced with the risk of not being able to meet his sponsorship obligations.

Additionally, the UK visa application process also requires Lawson to return to New Zealand, which he cannot now.

“At the moment, the way the MIQ spots work, I tried maybe four or five weeks in a row and I was 13,000 in the queue or 22,000 in the queue and couldn’t get a seat,” he tells Newshub.

“In addition, of course, a lot of my sponsorship comes from New Zealand, I have a lot of commitments that I need to be home to see them all. This is a pretty important thing for the next year.

“I’m also trying to get my next year visa which I have to be home for to get the UK visa.

“On the sponsorship side, it’s very, very important that I come home too.”

Aside from the career impact, Lawson is also facing the reality that he’s stuck overseas for his traditionally his F2 off-season.

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