Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2022
Round 3

Ayumu Iwasa claims 5th place in a dramatic race and gains 10 points, taking him to 9th in the championship

it Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari

The Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Round 3 Imola took place on Sunday 24 April. After qualifying 2nd on Friday, the 22nd, Ayumu Iwasa started the race in the front row.

Ayumu Iwasa claims 5th place in a dramatic race and gains 10 points, taking him to 9th in the championship

Under dry conditions with an ambient temperature of 17°C and a track temperature of 22°C, the formation lap got underway at 10:20am. Then two cars in the front row started off with a poor dash, causing a mess in the field. Cars in the 2nd and 3rd rows made contact, sending one car off into a crash, which resulted in the Safety Car being brought on right from the off. Iwasa had a poor start but was not involved in the accident and grabbed 3rd spot. The race resumed on Lap 4, and on Lap 6 another car spun and crashed, causing another Safety Car intervention. This turned out to be perfect timing for the pack leaders who had started on super soft tyres, with many of the cars making a pit stop on Lap 8. Iwasa also returned to the pit on Lap 8 at the same time as his team-mate ahead of him and this lost him some time. Being late to return to the track, he dropped five places to 8th spot out of the cars which had gone to the pit. He also lost position to nine cars that had started on medium tyres and that did not make any pit stops, returning to the race in 17th place.

As the race resumed on Lap 10, he overtook the car in front and moved up to 16th. Iwasa continued to close in on the cars in front and looked for an opportunity but was unable to overtake them on each subsequent lap.  Then, on Lap 20, he climbed to 15th when a front runner crashed.

As cars which had started on medium tyres began to make pit stops on Lap 26 with 10 remaining laps, Iwasa moved up the field. With five laps to go, Iwasa was practically running in 6th place, and overtook a car slowing down on Lap 32 to move up to 5th. An accident on Lap 33 brought on the Safety Car for the third time and the chequered flag was waved on Lap 35 with the Safety Car leading the field to end the race.

Despite a rocky start and lost time in the pit, Iwasa persevered to finish 5th and added 10 points to his tally. After Round 3 he had jumped to 9th in the championship with a total of 20 points in hand.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 17
With two major mistakes the result is frustrating, but I think I managed to do the minimum work necessary, gaining 10 points in 5th. One of them was the start, which was all my fault. I need to improve this for the next race. The other one was the amount of time lost in the pit stop. Regarding the double-stacked pit stop, it is obvious that it was the only possible timing for a stop strategically. However, there was some time lost replacing the rear tyres and I lost out to my rivals who made pit stops at the same time. It was quite a setback to lose a lot of positions with a six or seven second time loss. It was a frustrating result as I started from the front row and had the pace to aim for the win.
That said, there have been a lot of positive aspects this weekend overall - the pace of the car has been good and we have also been able to confirm good performance in wet conditions. We found out that the car had a high potential, so I will make sure to correct areas for improvement, including my driving, and prepare well for the next race. 

Published on