Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 10

Iwasa starts the race 6th and finishes 4th to secure points

hu Hungaroring

The Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Round 10 Hungary took place on Sunday, 23 July. As per the qualifying order, Ayumu Iwasa started from P6 in Row 3 of the grid.

Iwasa starts the race 6th and finishes 4th to secure points

The weather at the Hungaroring was fine from the morning of the 23rd, and at 10.05am, when the formation lap started, the ambient temperature was 26°C and the track temperature was 38°C.

After a slightly slow start, Iwasa was passed by a car a head of the first corner, dropping to 7th, but he overtook one on the next corner and regained 6th by the end of the opening lap. While the leaders started on the option specification (soft) tyres, Iwasa opted for prime (medium) tyres. Early in the race, the gap between Iwasa and the car in front opened up due to tyre differences and tyre management. By Lap 5, he was more than five seconds behind 5th place, and he continued to run in 6th.

As the leaders changed tyres consecutively on Laps 12 and 13, Iwasa moved up to 4th. However, the pace of the top three, who started on the options, did not decrease and the gap between 3rd place and Iwasa increased to more than 10 seconds. Judging that the option tyres were preserved well, Iwasa pitted early on Lap 20 for a tyre change and returned to the race in 10th. The leaders then made pit stops and by Lap 22 Iwasa was 7th.

The options lasted better than expected and it wasn't until Lap 23 that the top three began to change tyres.  By then, their gap to the rest of the field had widened considerably. After a pit stop by a leading car, Iwasa was 6th on Lap 25 and began to pick up the pace to catch up. He overtook the car in front of him on Turn 2 on Lap 26 to take 5th place. The Japanese driver increased his pace, and on Lap 30, he came within a second of 4th place, aiming to further climb the field.  Looking for an opportunity from behind, Iwasa made a bold move to take the inside at Turn 1 on Lap 35 and succeeded in overtaking. This moved him to 4th, but by that point, he was more than 10 seconds behind 3rd place and had to settle in that position to complete the 37-lap race.

With 12 points for 4th place, Iwasa remains 3rd in the championship standings with 132 points in total. He has managed to close the point gap with the leaders after two races in Hungary. This leaves him 21 points behind the leader and 10 points behind 2nd place.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
Fourth place is a good result considering the circumstances. Of course, this is not the result that I and the team were looking for. The car today had more oversteer than in the Sprint Race and the pace was not good. This is a difficult track to overtake on, and in that situation, I was able to overtake and improve my position. Plus, I was able to rack up some points, so I feel like I did the best I could.
As for the strategy, we’d decided to go with 'the prime to option' choice if there was no car with the same strategy in front of us. It's a risky strategy from 6th position, but as there was no Safety Car, I think the strategy was half successful as a result. However, the options lasted longer than I expected today. Normally, graining should be more likely to occur at low track temperatures, but today there was absolutely zero graining. When I found that out early in the race, I thought, 'Maybe there’s no chance in today's race'. But that made me switch to the options earlier to keep pushing, and 4th place is a good result. I don't think my car had the performance for me to aim for more than that.
I’ll prepare well with the team so that we can compete for a win in the next race at Spa-Francorchamps.

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