Sprint Race
FIA Formula2 2022
Round 11

Iwasa starts the race in 13th and finishes 9th. Narrowly missing out on winning points

be Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

The Sprint Race of Round 11 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship took place at the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Iwasa starts the race in 13th and finishes 9th. Narrowly missing out on winning points

In the qualifying session on Friday 26 August, Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) driver, was unsuccessful in his first set of attempts, making a mistake, but he improved his time in the final shot to finish 13th. He narrowly missed a top-ten place to be eligible for the reverse grid and had to start from Row 7 in P13 in both the Sprint and Feature Races.

Under some unstable weather, unique to the Spa-Francorchamps, with an ambient temperature of 16°C and a track temperature of 21°C, the formation lap got underway at 6:15pm under a cloudy sky. A car starting from P2 had a problem on its way to the grid on the installation lap and the race started with a vacant P2 on the grid. After a good start, Iwasa moved up to 9th at the first corner, but was passed by one car on the following straight and finished the first lap in 10th. He was overtaken again on Lap 2 and moved down to 11th. Despite closing in on the car in front he was unable to pass, and the race entered the second half while Iwasa kept his position.

On Lap 11, the Safety Car came on as one of the front cars had spun and crashed. Some cars, including those in the top positions, changed tyres, while Iwasa, who stayed out without making a pit stop, climbed up to 8th. On Lap 15, the race resumed with four laps to go, though Iwasa was unable to improve on his position. On Lap 16 as the Japanese driver changed tyres he lost out to a car which was catching up fast, and dropped to 9th. Towards the end, fast-paced cars came breathing down his neck but Iwasa held on to 9th position to finish the race.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 17
In the end, it was a race with some good parts and some bad parts. I went into the race with a fairly aggressive setup and the overall pace itself was good, but the car went off balance in places. Especially at the points where the car should pick up speed before the straight, such as at the Eau Rouge and Turn 15, the car was not balanced enough for me to hit the accelerator fully. So, I was passed by the following car, or it was difficult to overtake the front car. My pace itself wasn't too bad, so I was able to catch up with the frontrunners in the middle of the race, but at that time the Safety Car came on, and so I couldn't make up any positions.
However, there were some good things about the setup, so the team and I agreed to go for the same aggressive approach for the Feature Race. The car itself is fast, so we'll keep the tyre management and setup that worked well in today's race, fix what didn't work and aim for a top place in the Feature Race.

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