Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2022
Round 4

Starting from 6th Ayumu Iwasa has an accident early in the race and finishes 12th after coming up from last place

es-ct Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Round 4 Spain took place on Sunday 22 May. After qualifying 6th on Friday, Ayumu Iwasa started the race from 6th in the grid’s 3rd row.

Starting from 6th Ayumu Iwasa has an accident early in the race and finishes 12th after coming up from last place

With an ambient temperature of 31°C and a track temperature of 40°C, the formation lap got underway at 11:35am. As in the Sprint Race on the previous day, Iwasa made a good start and climbed to 4th, but in the fight over positions going into the 1st corner, he allowed 2 cars to get ahead of him and so passed the 1st corner in 6th position. He then held his position and finished the 1st lap in 6th. Bearing down on the car in front and looking for the right moment to overtake, Iwasa tried to pass the car in front on the 3rd lap. However, as the car in front had a problem it slowed down suddenly. Unable to avoid this car, Iwasa made contact on the front of his car. He then sustained damage which forced him to make a pit stop. The slowed-down car stopped on the track and the Safety Car was brought on.

Now down to 18th position, Iwasa made his 2nd pit stop for a tyre change on Lap 8, a lap later after the safety car left the track. After this pit stop, he fell to last place at 20th.

After an early tyre change, Iwasa was able to manage his tyres and tried to improve his position, and as the cars ahead of him made pit stops, he had climbed up to 11th by Lap 24. On Lap 25, he passed a slowing car, and thus moved up to 10th, a point-gaining position. However, after that, he was overtaken by several cars with new tyres and with better speeds, losing some places to drop to 14th by Lap 27. Nevertheless, Iwasa held onto his position while preserving his tyres and overtook the car in front on Laps 35 and 36 towards the end of the race, moving up to a 12th-place finish in the 37-lap race.

After starting from a good position, Iwasa was expected to finish higher, but he ended up with 0 points in the Feature Race. Although he had added 8 points in the Sprint Race, he dropped to 11th in the championship ranking. That said, it's been a close battle for the top spots in the championship and a fight back from Iwasa is expected starting from the next round.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 17
It was an unlucky race. It's a very frustrating result because we had a strategy to start with soft tyres and keep them on for a long time, so if we hadn't had an accident, we could have been higher up. The start went well, and I was able to move up some positions. However, I lost those in the fight over positions towards the first corner and got back to my original place. The car in front of me started on hard tyres and its pace was different. And so I was closing the gap to pass it, when it suddenly slowed down. There was nothing I could do. When I made contact my car sustained some damage to the front wing. That also seemed to make the alignment go wrong, so the balance of the car was wrong throughout the race. Even so, I think the positive points were that I set the pace and managed the tyres well, and I was able to increase my pace to overtake some cars in the final stages of the race.
The next race in Monaco will be my first time on this track and a crash caused by the slightest mistake could ruin my race week, so I will prepare well and get ready for the race. 

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