Ayumu Iwasa starts and finishes 4th in the season opener in 2023
In 2023, Ayumu Iwasa, Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) driver will take part in the FIA Formula 2 Championship for the second year in a row. Iwasa, who finished 5th in the championship last season, will be competing with the same DAMS team as last year. This season, he will be driving all 28 races
The season opener took place in Bahrain, as it did last season, with free practice and qualifying held on Friday, 3 March. Qualified 7th, Iwasa got a good starting position at P4 in Row 2 in the Sprint Race, where a reverse grid is applied to the top 10 qualifiers.
Under an ambient temperature of 27°C and a track temperature of 36°C, the formation lap of the Sprint Race got underway at 4:15pm on Saturday, 4 March.
After a good start, Iwasa moved up to 3rd from the inside at the first corner. He then made a bold attack and overtook to move up to 2nd by the end of the first lap.
His gap to the leader was around one second, but the gap remained the same lap after lap. Meanwhile, the following pack closed in on the Japanese driver and they waged a fierce battle on Lap 9. Iwasa once lost 2nd place in the fight, but he quickly regained and defended his position.
The melee with the rest of the field continued, and on Lap 13, they chased each other back and forth. And in the scuffle, Iwasa moved down to 3rd.
Iwasa’s pace didn’t improve, and he was passed at the first corner on Lap 15 to fall to 4th, and soon afterwards was overtaken by another car. However, he quickly regained his position to move back up to 4th. Degradation in his tyres early on meant that Iwasa was unable to pick up the pace in the second half of the race. However, he defended his 4th position despite the intense pressure from the trailing pack to complete the 23-lap race.
Iwasa scored five points with a 4th-place finish, marking the second year in a row that he has finished in a point scoring position in the opening race of the season.