Feature Race
FIA Formula2 2023
Round 14

Ayumu Iwasa finishes 4th after starting from 5th to conclude the 2023 championship in 4th overall

ae Yas Marina Circuit

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.

Ayumu Iwasa finishes 4th after starting from 5th to conclude the 2023 championship in 4th overall

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.

Ayumu Iwasa
Ayumu Iwasa 11
It was a very difficult race. It's disappointing because I wanted to deliver at least a podium finish for the team in the last race. I didn't get a bad start, and our strategy of trying an undercut worked, but the car wasn't in good shape. As a result of fixing yesterday's damper problem, we now had severe oversteer. The rear tyres overheated and it was impossible to pick up the pace.
Looking back on the season, things didn't go as well as they had done in the second half of last year. There have been races where I missed good results due to my own mistakes and problems caused by the team. I believe this has had a big impact on my ranking. Because of that, I couldn’t be in the running for the championship towards the end of the season and I couldn't defend 3rd place at the end either. But I’m sure that both I and the team have grown up well. We did what we had to do and everything is a good memory.
After this, I’ll drive for AlphaTauri in the F1 test. I’m very interested in what the world of F1 is like, and I am looking forward to experiencing an F1 team and how I can use my previous experience. However, I think it’s important to complete the team programme well, earn mileage and do my job well. So, I’ll make sure I do what I can do and try not to do more than what’s possible.
As for next year, as already announced, I’ll be racing in Super Formula in Japan. There are many things I have to adjust to with the change of category, but my goal is of course to become a champion. I want to prepare myself to be ready to compete fully from the beginning of the season. Please continue to support me in Japan. 

Published on