Sprint Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 3

Ayumu Iwasa starts from P9, after moving down after an accident, he finishes 13th

au Melbourne

The FIA Formula 2 Round 3 Australia is on a purpose-built circuit in Albert Park in Melbourne. Although the track has hosted Formula 1 races in previous years, this is the first time that the FIA Formula 2 Championship is being held here.

Ayumu Iwasa starts from P9, after moving down after an accident, he finishes 13th

In the qualifying session on Friday 31 March, Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) driver, marked the fastest time towards the end in wet conditions to secure his first pole position of the season.  With one of the top cars having been penalised, Iwasa moved up on the grid’s starting position by one place to 9th in Row 5 in the Sprint Race, where a reverse grid is applied.

The formation lap started at 2:25pm on Saturday 1 April, under unstable weather conditions in an ambient temperature of 16°C and track temperature of 28°C, as well as wet sections in places. After a good start, Iwasa passed a car to move up to 8th. In a fierce battle for position, he made contact with another car but managed to hold on to 8th for the rest of the first lap. However, a puncture caused Iwasa to slow down and lose a position at the first corner on Lap 2, which forced him to pit early. After this emergency pit stop, he fell to last place in 20th.

Iwasa continued to run in 20th while closing a large gap with the car in front. On Lap 14, the Safety Car was brought on as a car had an accident and stopped on the track. As it had started to rain a short time earlier, some drivers began to go in for a tyre change. Iwasa also pitted on Lap 17, as the Safety Car was leading the field, and he changed to wets. He returned to the race in 18th, the new last place. It had been announced that the race would resume on Lap 18, but a car had gone off the track and the field continued to trail behind the Safety Car. In the meantime, the rain had subsided and Iwasa pitted again on Lap 19 to change to medium tyres.

As the race resumed on Lap 21, a furious battle for position developed over the remaining two laps. Iwasa increased his pace and overtook some cars to finish14th. With a time-penalty given to one of the front cars, the Japanese driver was promoted to 13th afterwards.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
As for the contact, when the a came close to me there was nothing I could do to avoid it. I don't think I had a choice. Although the result was disappointing, there was a lot to gain from the race, and I take that as a positive. After the accident, I switched to new medium tyres and I was able to run 14 to 15 laps alone, in almost test conditions. I gained a feeling for the car and a got lot of data. This helped us prepare well for the Feature Race.
In the race, after switching to wets, I found that didn't work out so well and changed back to mediums. Then I was able to overtake some cars.
I'm starting from pole position for the Feature Race, so I want to get a strong start to lead the race. Even if that doesn't work out, I know I have a good speed and I want to race for good results. 

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