Iwasa runs a perfect race to clinch his maiden win in F2, taking him to 9th in the championship
The Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Round 9 France took place on Sunday, 24 July. Ayumu Iwasa started the race from P2 in the front row of the grid.
The formation lap started at 9:45am, 10 minutes later than scheduled. With an ambient temperature of 28°C and track temperature of 39°C, the race got underway in hot and sunny conditions, even in the morning.
Iwasa got off to a good start, but an even better dash saw a car starting from 4th take the lead, and Iwasa held on to 2nd place going into the first corner. Having closed in on the leader, Iwasa caught up from the outside and overtook at Turn 8.
While the Japanese driver finished the first lap in the lead, an accident in the trailing pack on Lap 2 brought on the Safety Car. When the race resumed on Lap 6, Iwasa restarted with perfect timing and opened the gap to the car in 2nd to one second. He then continued to gradually pull away from the tailing car.
Starting on soft tyres, Iwasa returned to the pit on Lap 15 for a tyre change. The team sent him back to the track after a quick operation, and he then returned to the race in 4th at that point, successfully defending his lead among the cars with the same strategy. Iwasa's pace was superior, and by Lap 20, when all the cars had finished their pit stops, he was running alone with a four-second lead over the 2nd-placed car, and the race entered the final stages. His pace continued to outstrip that of the rest of the field, and as the race continued, the HFDP driver widened the gap to secure a win by more than eight seconds over 2nd place.
Iwasa's first win in the FIA Formula 2 Championship added 25 points to his tally. With a current total point score of 72, he has quickly ascended the ranks and is now 9th in the championship.