Sprint Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 1

Ayumu Iwasa starts and finishes 4th in the season opener in 2023

bh Bahrain International Circuit

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

Ayumu Iwasa starts and finishes 4th in the season opener in 2023

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.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
The car felt good in the pre-race tests. Although the results hadn’t been great, I felt it had potential.
 However, the qualifying was difficult, partly due to losses caused by my own driving. The data showed that without those losses I might’ve been able to get to 2nd or 3rd place, but it still would’ve been difficult to fight for the lead.
The Sprint Race was very difficult. Tyre degradation started much earlier than expected. I was very careful with my tyre management from the first lap, and I know from the data that my driving wasn’t bad. So, we need to improve the setup of the car for the Feature Race in high temperatures. I’ll discuss it with the engineers.
Of course, my goal for this second season is to win the championship, but I shouldn’t be too preoccupied with that. I’ll do my best to give it my all in every race and every session in front of me. And if I stay offensive and continue to fight like we did in the second half of last season, I’m sure the results will follow. 

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