Ayumu Iwasa will continue with DAMS for a second season of Formula 2 in 2023 after his impressive rookie campaign with the team.
Stepping up after a single season in FIA Formula 3 where he finished 12th in the standings, the Honda and Red Bull junior claimed feature race wins at Paul Ricard and in Abu Dhabi, the first for DAMS in F2 since 2019.
Iwasa, who was French Formula 4 champion in 2020, also scored two pole positions for the Le Mans-based team on his way to finishing fifth in the final standings as the second-best rookie.
“I’m really happy with my first F2 season, I learned a lot during the year and we were able to improve at each race,” he said.
“It’s a great feeling to continue with DAMS for another year, I feel at home in the team and we work well together. Everyone was on the same page and that helped us secure plenty of strong results. It’s going to be helpful to come into the new campaign in a familiar environment, along with my experience of several tracks that were new to me in 2022.
“My target is to challenge for the F2 title in 2023. We know we have the potential to achieve it, but we’re not looking too far ahead yet, instead concentrating on being ready for the start of the season. Thanks to DAMS for their faith and support and I can’t wait to get started in 2023.”
Iwasa’s victories in 2022 came after a mid-season takeover of DAMS by the family of former Formula 1 driver Charles Pic, who thanked Red Bull and Honda for their trust in keeping the Japanese driver with the team next season.
“We were all impressed with Ayumu’s performances in 2022, especially with the victories at Paul Ricard and Yas Marina, so we were very keen to keep him for 2023,” Pic said. It’s great for us to continue our relationships with Red Bull and Honda, they trust in our methods and we’ll do our best to succeed together.
“Ayumu proved that he has the potential to fight for the title, he was a major competitor in the second half of the season and we hope he can use this experience to kick on in 2023.”
Iwasa, who scored 141 points to the 20 of veteran team-mate Roy Nissany this year, will be joined by a new team-mate in Ferrari-backed F3 graduate Arthur Leclerc.