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.
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.