Home Featured Iwasa takes maiden win in F2 feature race at Paul Ricard

Iwasa takes maiden win in F2 feature race at Paul Ricard

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

DAMS’s Ayuma Iwasa took a comfortable victory in the Formula 2 feature race at Paul Ricard, as poleman Logan Sargeant retired.

The Red Bull and Honda junior moved ahead of Sargeant from the outside of the front row when the lights went out, but he was beaten into turn one by Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan, who made the best launch from fourth.

Iwasa snatched the lead under braking into the chicane on the opening lap after getting a run on Doohan on the Mistral Straight.

Theo Pourchaire was another to make a great start from sixth, but was run out of road by ART team-mate Frederik Vesti and had to settle for fifth in the early stages.

The safety car was deployed at the end of lap one due to Virtuosi’s Marino Sato spinning to a halt at the chicane and Hitech GP’s Marcus Armstrong also retiring after being spun around by David Beckmann and then collected by the hapless Dennis Hauger, who was forced to pit with damage.

Iwasa pulled out a 1.7-second advantage over Doohan once racing resumed, before pitting approaching half distance.

Doohan lost time during his stop after being held in his pit box, and the Australian was passed after rejoining by Pourchaire, who benefitted from an earlier tyre change to snatch a net second place.

Sargeant’s race came to an end in the pits after stalling and then being unable to find a gear once his engine fired back up.

Iwasa found himself with over a 4s lead over Pourchaire once he had reclaimed his place at the front on lap 19 of 30, and he further extended his lead to 8.6s by the finish.

New team owner Charles Pic joined Iwasa on the podium to mark the first feature race win for DAMS since 2019.

Doohan lunged up the inside of Pourchaire for second at the chicane, but spun and conceded third to Vesti, who held off a late charge from points leader Felipe Drugovich to take the final podium spot by 0.3s.

Doohan finished almost 6s further adrift in fifth, while Prema’s Jehan Daruvala made up places in the latter stages on soft compound tyres to claim seventh behind Carlin’s Liam Lawson.

Clement Novalak climbed from 15th to 8th, the MP Motorsport driver having pitted early on before running the soft tyre for 23 laps.

DAMS’s Roy Nissany came home ninth, despite a 5s time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, while Charouz’s Enzo Fittipaldi recovered from a five-place grid penalty to finish 10th from 19th on the grid.

Trident’s Richard Verschoor was denied a points finish one lap from home after his car ground to a halt on the pit straight.

Hitech GP’s Juri Vips ran sixth early on, but a slow pitstop consigned the Estonian to 12th.

Race result (30 laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 57m54.568s
2 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +8.649s
3 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix +9.887s
4 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport +10.253s
5 Jack Doohan Virtuosi +16.050s
6 Liam Lawson Carlin +19.680s
7 Jehan Daruvala Prema +27.558s
8 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport +32.852s
9 Roy Nissany DAMS +36.514s
10 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System +37.686s
11 Calan Williams Trident +40.214s
12 Juri Vips Hitech GP +45.584s
13 Olli Caldwell Campos Racing +46.476s
14 David Beckmann Van Amersfoort Racing +48.501s
15 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing +49.092s
16 Dennis Hauger Prema +1m25.136
17 Richard Verschoor Trident +2 laps
Ret Cem Bolukbasi Charouz Racing System
Ret Logan Sargeant Carlin
Ret Roberto Merhi Campos Racing
Ret Marcus Armstrong Hitech GP
Ret Marino Sato Virtuosi
Fastest lap: Drugovich, 1m46.901s

Championship standings
Drugovich 173   2 Pourchaire 134   3 Sargeant 118   4 Daruvala 94   5 Lawson 79   6 Doohan 78   7 Fittipaldi 76   8 Vesti 75   9 Iwasa 72   10 Armstrong 69