Home Featured Red Bull junior Iwasa tops red flagged F2 practice in Abu Dhabi

Red Bull junior Iwasa tops red flagged F2 practice in Abu Dhabi

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa topped the times in free practice for the final Formula 2 round of 2022 at Yas Marina Circuit, pipping ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire by 0.055 seconds.

Iwasa had set his best laptime with 27 minutes of the 45-minute session remaining, but a late red flag caused by Ralph Boschung crashing meant drivers were left with just three minutes to go for a final time at the end of the session.

Logan Sargeant appeared on course to usurp Iwasa after going fastest in sector two, but he spun at turn nine and put an end to his lap.

The Hitech GP pair of Marcus Armstrong and Juri Vips traded fastest times with Pourchaire at the start of practice, with Armstrong fastest on 1m38.469s.

Iwasa moved up to second place before improving further to set what would end up as the benchmark lap just before Vips brought out the first yellow flag of the morning with an off at Turn 14. Fortunately he managed to avoid hitting the barriers and was able to reverse and continue.

Behind Iwasa, first Liam Lawson and then MP Motorsport’s Clement Novalak took turns in second place, before Pourchaire wrested the position away.

Iwasa himself was still looking to improve further but ran wide at turn nine after setting a new best mark in sector one with just 14 minutes to go.

Sargeant had been gradually improving his laptimes and moved up to third just before Boschung’s crash meant the field went back to the pits.

Traffic unsurprisingly proved problematic folowing the late restart, with all 22 cars except Boschung taking to the track. The only significant improvement came from Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan who jumped up to third ahead of Carlin duo Sargeant and Lawson.

Series returnee Juan Manuel Correa was an impressive 14th for Van Amersfoort Racing, while F2 debutant Zane Maloney finished the session in 21st place, sandwiched by the Charouz Racing System’s Enzo Fittipaldi and Tatiana Calderon.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m38.168s 16
2 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m38.223s +0.055s 17
3 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m38.236s +0.068s 14
4 Logan Sargeant Carlin 1m38.297s +0.129s 15
5 Liam Lawson Carlin 1m38.372s +0.204s 17
6 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport 1m38.417s +0.249s 16
7 Marcus Armstrong Hitech GP 1m38.469s +0.301s 14
8 Juri Vips Hitech GP 1m38.490s +0.322s 15
9 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix 1m38.609s +0.441s 17
10 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport 1m38.612s +0.444s 17
11 Roy Nissany DAMS 1m38.765s +0.597s 15
12 Marino Sato Virtuosi 1m38.766s +0.598s 17
13 Amaury Cordeel VAR 1m38.773s +0.605s 17
14 Juan Manuel Correa VAR 1m38.795s +0.627s 16
15 Dennis Hauger Prema 1m38.895s +0.727s 16
16 Jehan Daruvala Prema 1m39.055s +0.887s 15
17 Richard Verschoor Trident 1m39.136s +0.968s 16
18 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m39.349s +1.181s 14
19 Olli Caldwell Campos Racing 1m39.354s +1.186s 17
20 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System 1m39.393s +1.225s 17
21 Zane Maloney Trident 1m39.935s +1.767s 15
22 Tatiana Calderon Charouz Racing System 1m40.276s +2.108s 17