Ayumu Iwasa completes the race in 4th and is now 3rd in the championship
The Feature Race of FIA Formula 2 Round 2 Saudi Arabia took place on Sunday 19 March. Qualified 6th, Ayumu Iwasa started the race in P5 in the 3rd row after the demotion of a car in a front position.
Under high temperature conditions with an ambient temperature of 28°C and a track temperature of 48.5°C, the formation lap got underway at 4:15pm. In the fight for position right after the start, Iwasa was overtaken and finished the first lap in 6th. Starting on super soft tyres, Iwasa returned to the pit on Lap 7 to change to medium rubber as his tyres started to suffer early in the race. The race leaders adopted the same strategy and were similarly unable to preserve their tyres. They had to change them on Laps 7 or 8. Returning to the track in 14th, Iwasa was 6th among the cars that had changed tyres, a position he had secured before the pit stop. As other cars then pitted, he moved up to 11th by Lap 10.
In the middle part of the race, Iwasa's pace did not improve, and his gap to the car in front gradually widened. However, as the front runners with the same strategy spun and dropped out on Laps 16 and 17, he moved up to 9th. With five cars which had not had their tyres changed, the Japanese driver was effectively in 4th.
When all the cars had finished changing tyres on Lap 24 in the final stage of the race, Iwasa was running in 4th position. However, his speed did not improve and the gap to the car in front widened to five seconds, making it difficult to catch up. In the very last stage of the race, the following car, with its superior pace, began to push hard and close in behind Iwasa. With two laps to go, the gap from the chasing pack was less than a second. On the final lap this gap was further reduced to just three-tenths of a second, but Iwasa held on to 4th place to complete the race.
Iwasa added 22 points to his tally from the previous day's Sprint Race and this race. With a total of 31 points he is now in 3rd place, just two points behind the leader in the standings. He is also the only driver to score points in four consecutive races since the season opener.