Sprint Race
FIA Formula2 2022
Round 4

Ayumu Iwasa claims 2nd place after a good start to gain his first podium finish of the season

es-ct Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

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 claims 2nd place after a good start to gain his first podium finish of the season

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.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 17
I am very pleased with 2nd place and I think I ran a good race. The key point was the start. I made some mistakes at the start in Imola. It was something I needed to improve on and had many meetings with the team, so it has paid off and that gave me some confidence. I think I was able to manage the tyres well but I could’ve pushed them a bit closer to the limit. I think this is an area for improvement for the Feature Race. I was happy to be on the podium for the first time in F2, but my first time in F3 was also in 2nd place, so I have some regrets that I didn't win. I don't think 2nd place is a very good result considering the overall potential under the current situations including the car and my driving, so I will do my best to keep up results like this. The Feature Race is long and a tyre change stop will be required, so I will go into it well prepared to do my own race. If I can do that, the results will come. 

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