Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 1

Ayumu Iwasa starts from 7th and after struggling with tyres, completes the race in 8th

bh Bahrain International Circuit

Having finished 4th in the Sprint Race of the first round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Bahrain on the previous day, Ayumu Iwasa took on the challenge on the 32-lap Feature Race, where tyre change is compulsory.

Ayumu Iwasa starts from 7th and after struggling with tyres, completes the race in 8th

As the starting positions for the Feature Race are based on qualifying positions, Iwasa started from P7 in Row 4.

Under an ambient temperature of 32°C and a track temperature of 45°C, the formation lap got underway at 1:20pm. Iwasa started off a little slow but slipped into the inside of the first corner and held on to 7th position. After a pile-up in Turn 4 happened, Iwasa got away with it and moved up to 5th. The accident brought on the Safety Car.

The race resumed on Lap 4, and Iwasa kept his 5th position in close pursuit of the cars ahead and under pressure from those behind. Starting on hard tyres, Iwasa made an early pit stop on Lap 12 for a tyre change. Over the next few laps, many cars changed tyres and by the time all cars had pitted after 16 laps, Iwasa was in 6th.

In the second half of the race, there was a fierce battle for positions around Iwasa. In the process, he also had a series of side-by-side battles. However, struggling with tyres and unable to improve his pace, Iwasa was passed at Turn 11 on Lap 26 and dropped to 6th. His lap times dropped further towards the end of the race. He was under pressure from the trailing cars, whose speeds were clearly faster, and he dropped to 7th on Lap 28 and 8th on Lap 31. Despite a close and difficult race, Iwasa defended his 8th position to finish in a point-scoring position again after the Sprint Race, which earned him four points.

Iwasa gained nine points from the opening two races and is now 6th in the standings.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
The result of the Feature Race is disappointing. The main reason was that our tyre strategy didn't work well. So, the tyres were damaged by running behind the car in front and we couldn't preserve the tyres. Undercutting is easy on this circuit, and it has a significant impact on lap times. For this reason, I was very careful about the timing of my pit stop, but my team-mate went in first, so my timing wasn’t good. If I’d been able to run in clean air, I don't think the tyre degradation would’ve been as bad as it was, and I would’ve been able to defend my position. For the next race I need to improve my driving and work with the team to improve our strategy and car. 

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