Ayumu Iwasa finishes 9th in the Sprint Race
Round 3 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship kicked off at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy with a Sprint Race on Saturday 24 April.
The previous day's free practice and qualifying sessions were hit by rain and the schedule was drastically changed. This was the first wet run of the season and there were many red flags. Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) driver, overcame the difficult conditions where it was his first time to drive on this track as well as the first time ever on wet tyres in a Formula 2 event, and qualified 2nd. He started from 9th in the 5th row on the grid in the Sprint Race, where a reverse grid is applied for the top 10 qualifiers.
Under dry conditions with an ambient temperature of 18°C and a track temperature of 25°C, the formation lap got underway at 5:55pm. Iwasa got off to a slightly slow start but held his position and maintained 9th place, after which an accident occurred behind him, and the Safety Car was brought on in the opening lap of the race. As the stranded car was removed and the race resumed on Lap 5, Iwasa was passed by the trailing car immediately after the restart and dropped back to 10th.
On Lap 10, he moved up to 9th as one of the leaders dropped out and increased his pace to close in on the cars in front, looking for a chance to further improve his position. However, although he was less than a second behind, he was unable to overtake the car in front before the race entered the second half. Iwasa drove for laps closely behind the front car but was unable to move up the field. He finished the 25-lap race in 9th, narrowly missing a point-gaining result.