The final race of the season - the Feature Race of the FIA Formula 2 Round 14 Abu Dhabi took place on Sunday, 26 November. Before his start from P5 in Row 3 on the grid, Ayumu Iwasa was aiming for a podium finish.
With an ambient temperature of 29°C and a track temperature of 43°C, the formation lap got underway at 1:15pm. After holding his position at the start, Iwasa moved up to 4th in a fierce melee for position. A close battle continued, with Iwasa going off the track at Turn 6. However, his position remained unchanged and he finished the opening lap in 4th. On Lap 2 he was once passed by the car behind, but quickly regained 4th spot.
Having started on option (soft) tyres, Iwasa was the first to make a pit stop on Lap 7 for a tyre change, looking for an undercut. After returning to the race in 19th, Iwasa was able to recover to 10th by Lap 14 as cars with the same strategy pitted. He was placed 2nd among those who had already changed tyres, improving his position by the undercut.
However, the trailing pack was breathing down Iwasa’s neck, and he was unable to pick up the pace. After 20 laps, cars starting on prime (medium) tyres began to pit. When all the cars had finished changing tyres on Lap 25, Iwasa was running 3rd. He was more than seven seconds behind 2nd, with the rest of the field close behind, as the race entered the closing stages.
Despite a lack of pace, Iwasa defended his position against a fierce attack from behind for a while. However, he was overtaken on Laps 28 and 30 by cars with superior pace, which pushed him to 5th. Nevertheless, an accident on the final and 33rd lap caused by two cars fighting for 3rd place helped Iwasa climb back to 4th to finish the race.
As his rival fighting for 3rd in the championship eventually won the race, Iwasa concluded the 2023 season in 4th in the championship. This result enabled him to meet the criteria for a Super Licence. It has also been announced that Iwasa will drive for AlphaTauri in the F1 test after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.