Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 9

In a turbulent race with three SCs, Ayumu Iwasa makes a good start from 3rd to take the lead, but being unable to pick up pace, he finishes 5th

gb Silverstone Circuit

The Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Round 9 Great Britain took place on Sunday 9 July. As per the qualifying order, Ayumu Iwasa started from P3 in Row 2 of the grid.

In a turbulent race with three SCs, Ayumu Iwasa makes a good start from 3rd to take the lead, but being unable to pick up pace, he finishes 5th

The weather improved slightly compared to the unstable conditions on the previous day and it was now cloudy at Silverstone. Under dry conditions and with an ambient temperature of 15°C and track temperature of 21°C, the formation lap got underway at 9:55am. After a good start, Iwasa quickly took the lead into the first corner. However, a chasing car then took back the lead, pushing Iwasa out at Turn 3. This overtaking was later penalised, but Iwasa finished the first lap in 2nd. His gap to the leader gradually opened up and on Lap 7, when the difference reached more than five seconds, a car stopped on the track and the Safety Car was brought on. The leaders including Iwasa had opted for soft tyres at the start and all pitted at the same time and changed to hard tyres. Cars that had started on hard tyres stayed on the track, so Iwasa returned to the field in 7th.

When the race restarted on Lap 11, an accident involving several cars occurred and the Safety Car made an appearance again. Recovery work took some time and the race resumed on Lap 15. On the restart, Iwasa closed the gap to the car in front and then overtook it to move up to 6th. However, he was pushed out at Turn 16 on Lap 16 by the car behind, passed by two competitors, and dropped to 8th. On Lap 17, there was an accident at the back of the field, and the Safety Car was brought on for the third time. The cars that had started on hard tyres made their pit stops at this time, which meant all cars finished changing tyres. Iwasa found himself in 5th position going into the final stages of the race.

Racing resumed on Lap 20, but Iwasa was unable to improve his pace. The following car put pressure on him. Iwasa was passed by the car behind on Lap 23 and moved down to 6th. However, on Lap 26, a car in front overran and Iwasa moved back up to 5th. Lacking the speed to chase the front, Iwasa finished the 29-lap race in 5th and added 10 points to his tally for the championship. 

After Round 9 he remains 3rd with 111 points in the championship standings.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
I got off to a good start, but I think the problem with what happened afterwards was caused by the tyre warm-up. My car became slippery on the two laps heading to the grid. I regret that my early pace wasn’t very good because I couldn’t warm up the tyres sufficiently. The bigger problem was that my pace on the prime (hards) was quite slow and I was passed in the battle late in the race. Last year there was almost no degradation of the hard tyres, but this year it wasn’t good at all. I looked at various data with the engineers after the race, but we still don't know for sure why. We must now analyse whether it’s due to how I use the tyres or the car settings and improve. Fifth place is not a satisfying result, but it's good that I did everything I could to bring home points despite the lack of pace. 

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