Round 4 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship kicked off at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain with a Sprint Race on Saturday 21 May.
Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) driver, had qualified 6th on the previous day and started from 5th in the 3rd row on the grid in the Sprint Race, where a reverse grid is applied to the top ten qualifiers.
With an ambient temperature of 33°C and a track temperature of 43°C, the formation lap got underway at 5:40pm. The pole sitter was unable to start the formation lap and sent back to the pit, leaving the race to start without pole position. Iwasa made a good dash at the beginning and improved his position to pass the first corner in 2nd place. Because the track is tough on tyres, tyre management in the first half of the race is key, and Iwasa maintained a gap of around 1 second from the leader in 2nd position. On Lap 6, the Safety Car came on as a car had spun and stopped on the track. It took some time to recover the car and the race was restarted on Lap 10. Iwasa held on to 2nd place as the race entered the second half.
His pace was not bad, but the leader was even faster and widened the gap with the Japanese driver. With a gap of more than 1 second to the car in front and unable to use the DRS, Iwasa was conscious of the gap with the trailing pack, which was less than a second behind him. Towards the end of the race, Iwasa increased his pace and gave chase for 1st position, but was unable to close the gap of more than 2 seconds. Nonetheless he extended his advantage over the rest of the field and secured 2nd place.
With 2nd place, his highest finish of the season, Iwasa stood on the podium for the first time in F2. He added 8 points to his tally to close the gap on the championship leaders.