Sprint Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 6

After starting from 2nd, Ayumu Iwasa wins the race leaving the rest far behind

mc Circuit de Monaco

Round 5 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Imola was cancelled due to weather conditions, as was Formula 1, and Round 6 took place on the traditional Monaco street circuit.

After starting from 2nd, Ayumu Iwasa wins the race leaving the rest far behind

In the free practice on Thursday 25 May, Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) driver, put in a strong performance and recorded the fastest time for a good start to the event. On Friday the 26th, Iwasa ran the 16-minute qualifying session in Group B (for odd-numbered cars) but lost time on his second attempt when he hit the left front of his car on the barriers. With damage to the steering, he tried his final attempt and set his best time halfway through. However, the session was stopped with a red flag, which made it a frustrating qualifying for the Japanese driver. With his qualifying results, 5th in Group B and 9th overall, he started the Sprint Race from the front row in P2.

With an ambient temperature of 25°C and a track temperature of 48°C, the formation lap got underway at 2:20pm. Iwasa got off to a good start, but the pole-sitter also made a dash, from which he held 2nd place going through the first corner. At the chicane on Lap 2, there was an accident involving several cars, and so the Safety Car was brought on. The race resumed on Lap 6 with Iwasa behind the leader on the restart. He then passed the front runner, whose pace had dropped due to a problem, before the first corner to take the lead.

Iwasa continued to lap at the top, controlling his lead over the 2nd-placed car while managing his tyres. Mid-race, the car in 2nd pushed hard and at times came within a second to Iwasa, but the HFDP driver drove consistently to maintain a gap of around one second as the race entered the closing stages. On Lap 22, there was an accident at the back of the field, and the Safety Car was brought on for a second time. As the race resumed on Lap 25, Iwasa dashed with perfect timing to keep the lead and widen the gap to the 2nd place runner. Then he continued to run at a high pace, increasing his lead over the rest of the field.

Iwasa took the chequered flag, 6.6 seconds ahead of 2nd place. Outdistancing the pack, he picked up his third win of the season. This win in the Sprint Race added 10 points to his tally and he regained the lead in the championship standings.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
It was good to get a win. It's also good knowing how we won - being able to confirm we had a solid speed and how well I managed the tyres. I thought about going for the fastest lap towards the end of the race, but I made it a priority to secure a victory. For me, [this win] helps in part to make up for the mistakes I made in qualifying. [Since we have such good speeds,] the frustration of making mistakes now gets to me even more.
I think the Feature Race will be difficult as I’ll be starting off from 9th. However, we’ve gained a lot of data from today's race and above all we’ve confirmed that we have a fast pace. So, we’ll prepare well and do what we need to do to improve on our position.

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