Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2022
Round 1

Ayumu Iwasa has to settle for a 16th place finish due to a problem on the final lap

bh Bahrain International Circuit

In the first round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Ayumu Iwasa, who finished 8th in the Sprint Race the day before, took on the challenge of the Feature Race, where tyre changes are compulsory. The race started in the order of the qualifying results, which meant he took off from 22nd position.

Ayumu Iwasa has to settle for a 16th place finish due to a problem on the final lap

Under very different conditions from the previous day with an ambient temperature of 28°C and a track temperature of 44°C, the formation lap got underway at 1:40pm. Considering the high temperatures, many drivers started the race on hard tyres, but Iwasa opted for soft. The strategy worked, and the Japanese driver sprinted right from the off to improve his position. He moved up to 18th at the start and continued to overtake, finishing the first lap in 14th. Outpacing the others on hard tyres he got up to a point winning position of 10th by Lap 7. Iwasa did not slow down after that and continued to drive aggressively to climb to 7th position by Lap 12, still keeping the momentum to close in on the front runners.

Seeing that soft tyres were holding up better than expected, cars on hard rubber decided to change tyres early, and from Lap 14 they started making a pit stop one after another. In the meantime, Iwasa, whose pace did not drop too much even on soft tyres, made up for his position and took the lead on Lap 15.


Iwasa then returned to the pit on Lap 19 and spent some time there, returning to the race in 10th. Increasing his pace, he again chased down the front runners, overtaking them to move back to 7th by Lap 24 and further went after the leaders.

On Lap 27, the Safety Car was brought on as a car had spun and stopped on the track.  During this time, several cars in the pit had problems changing tyres and the lifting of the Safety Car intervention was delayed. Eventually, the race resumed on Lap 31, just before the one-hour time limit, which meant just one lap remained to the end. With his tyre condition and speed Iwasa was expected to improve his position, but when the race resumed, he slowed down. He didn’t have the opportunity to fight over positions on the final lap, dropped to last place and returned to the pit to finish the race.  The result was 16th place, a frustrating race for Iwasa, who was on the verge of gaining points back-to-back.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 17
Today's race went pretty well. We opted for soft tyres for the start. It was a minority decision but our tyre strategy worked well, and it was a good race. At the end, during the Safety Car intervention, the water pump failed, water temperatures rose and the engine broke.  It's a very frustrating result because I could have gone up to 5th, as my tyres and pace were still good. The car was fast and I was able to adapt my driving well to both soft and hard tyres, so I'd like to take this as a positive race that brought benefits to both the team and myself. 
As for improvements for the future, I think the first thing I need to work on is not to make mistakes like I did in the qualifying session, and I still need outright speed. The next race in Saudi Arabia will be on a track full of high-speed corners. One of the improvements required in my driving style is to fare better at high speeds, so I'll take this as an opportunity to adjust well 

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