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Iwasa’s Monaco F2 win “minimum recovery” for qualifying error

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency / Red Bull

Ayumu Iwasa has described his Formula 2 sprint race win in Monaco as the “minimum recovery” after a mistake in qualifying damaged his car.

The DAMS driver survived two safety car restarts and mid-race pressure from MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala before sealing a comfortable victory in Saturday’s race.

Talking to Formula Scout in Monaco after the race, Iwasa explained: “I had a bit of pressure from him [Daruvala] because he was coming to me just before the last safety car. But still my pace was under control. I was not pushing 100%, just I was trying to manage the tyres and the pace and there was a gap to Jehan.”

Having managed his tyres to perfection, Iwasa was quickly able to extend his lead when racing resumed with seven laps remaining, taking the flag 6.7s ahead of Daruvala.

Iwasa had inherited the lead at the first restart when polesitter and early leader, Isack Hadjar, suddenly slowed with a technical issue.

“It was not an easy race, it was very hard with the two safety cars but I also had a bit of luck with Isack’s issue so I’m sorry for him,” Iwasa told Formula Scout.

Could he have found a way past Hadjar on the track? “Honestly, it would have been very difficult for sure because it’s Monaco and I think there were some people who were trying it during the race but still they were not able to overtake.”

Despite the victory, Iwasa remained clearly frustrated by the error which compromised his qualifying, leaving him ninth on the grid for Sunday’s feature race.

“To be honest, I hit the wall and broke the suspension, and even after breaking the suspension I was able to drive faster,” he said. “I was almost beating the fastest sector 1 in the last push, so it was really a big disappointment. It was not easy to take pole because it was very tight, but for sure I could have fought for pole.

“For me, this is the minimum recovery as a driver so just I need to do my job on tomorrow’s race,” he added.

“I had the speed during the race, so it’s very positive for tomorrow so we can do a good race from P9. The biggest positive is just that we could show the pace. I could feel the tyres and we got good data from today’s race.”

For Sunday’s feature race, the new championship points leader just needs “to do my job on the track,” adding: “Everything can happen here so I need to see the situation and to react as soon as possible.”