Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 4

Iwasa starts the race in 17th and finishes 13th

az Baku City Circuit

The Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Round 4 Azerbaijan took place on Sunday, 30 April. As per the qualifying order, Ayumu Iwasa started from P17 in row 9 of the grid.

Iwasa starts the race in 17th and finishes 13th

Under sunny skies with an ambient temperature of 21°C and a track temperature of 31°C, the formation lap got underway at 11:25am. While many drivers opted to start on supersoft tyres, Iwasa opted for a strategy to go on medium tyres. At the beginning of the race, Iwasa, not wanting to damage his tyres, lost positions. However, as many cars returned to the pit to change tyres from Lap 6 on, he began to move up the field. When all the cars that started on supersoft tyres had completed their pit stops by Lap 9, two of the cars that had opted for medium tyres dominated the top two positions with Iwasa in 2nd. A Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed after a car stopped on the track on Lap 10. On that occasion, Iwasa violated a VSC procedure and was given a five-second time penalty.

Iwasa continued his laps in 2nd while managing his tyres. The chasing pack on their new tyres gradually closed in, but Iwasa maintained a 15-second gap as the race entered the closing stages. As the leader pitted on Lap 24, Iwasa took the lead, but the Japanese driver also made a pit stop on Lap 25 for a tyre change and to serve his time penalty. Returning to the race in 14th, Iwasa increased his pace and tried to improve his position. However, he was unable to move up and finished the race in 14th. After one of the front cars was penalised Iwasa was promoted to 13th at the end of the Feature Race.

After scoring no points in both the Sprint and Feature Races, Iwasa drops to 3rd in the series ranking. He will be looking to turn things around in the next rounds in Europe.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
In the end, I didn't even get any points. It was a disappointing result throughout the weekend. Starting on prime tyres (mediums) was a gamble and only two cars did it. However, the Safety Car didn't come out early and the other car finished in a point-scoring position. Also, I would’ve been in the top 10 if I hadn't received a five-second penalty. So the strategy wasn't too bad. The penalty was for accelerating a little early when the VSC was lifted. It was completely my fault. I always try to go for near-to-perfect timing and I was slightly too early to accelerate this time because the VSC was released during cornering, which was less-than-ideal timing.
The car has improved a bit and the feeling of grip is better, but it continues to be difficult to drive. It was a difficult race because it was easy to make mistakes in full push.
We’ll have a test in Barcelona after this, so we’ll do a thorough analysis of the car from these races and try to regain our speed in the future.

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