Sprint Race
FIA Formula2 2022
Round 7

Despite a late-race charge, Ayumu Iwasa falls a little short and comes in 2nd He gains his first best lap and second podium finish in F2

gb Silverstone Circuit

Round 7 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship kicked off at Silverstone in the UK.

Despite a late-race charge, Ayumu Iwasa falls a little short and comes in 2nd He gains his first best lap and second podium finish in F2

In the qualifying session on Friday, 1 July, Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) driver, marked the 6th fastest time in his second attempt, despite it being his first time on the track. As a result, in the Sprint Race where a reverse grid is applied, he got a good grid position at P5 in row 3.

Under wet conditions, the formation lap of the Sprint Race got underway at 5pm in slight drizzle with an ambient temperature of 15°C and a track temperature of 20°C. After two formation laps behind the Safety Car, the race got going in a rolling start. With one additional formation lap, the 21-lap race was therefore completed in just 20 laps. Due to the rolling start, there was no change in position and the cars kept a constant distance from each other in the early stages of the race to avoid the spray that other cars were causing.
After five laps, when the rain had stopped and the track surface had begun to dry out in places, the difference in wet tyre management began to show, and some cars were unable to increase their pace. Iwasa meanwhile, increased his speed and passed two cars, moving up from 5th to 3rd on Lap 6. He overtook a car at Turn 9 on Lap 8 to take 2nd place, aiming to take the lead. 

Iwasa chased the top runner while paying attention to tyre management, but the leader was also controlling the gap over him to keep it at just over three seconds. So, he was unable to close the gap, and the race came into the final stage. By Lap 16, with five laps to go, the gap to the leader was still four seconds, but Iwasa, who had some performance remaining in his tyres, started to push and picked up the pace. He closed the gap with the fastest time on Lap 17 and then renewed the best time of the race successively on Laps 18, 19 and the final lap to close in on the leader. However, Iwasa came just 0.9 seconds short when the chequered flag was waved and he completed the race in 2nd, which awarded him his first podium finish since Round 4 in Spain. Iwasa also recorded his first best lap of the race in F2 to add one point to his tally, gaining a total of nine points in this Sprint Race. 

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 17
It was a great result, but a frustrating race. I was clearly faster at the end, and I think I had the pace to take the lead easily if I’d had one more lap to spare. I was very careful about tyre management from the beginning of the race, and even after I took the 2nd place, I was preserving my tyres while watching the gap with the leader. With about nine laps to go, I could see that the leader was starting to push, but I felt it was still too early for me. With about six laps to go I spoke to our engineer over the radio and started pushing myself. As it turned out, it was too late to start pushing and I regret that, but I also think that the conditions made it very difficult to make that decision.
Until now, my issue has been that I’ve not been able to produce results even though I have the speed. I hope that this 2nd place result will be a good kick-start for me. I believe that if I do what I have to do well in the Feature Race, the results will follow. I'm going to go into the race ready to do what I have to do.

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