Ayumu Iwasa said he was unsure about what helped him make a late jump to third place in today’s FIA Formula 2 Championship Qualifying session for Round 9 at Silverstone.
DAMS driver Iwasa was eighth entering the final stages of a truncated session and remained in that position, two tenths off pole sitter Victor Martins, after drivers completed the initial flying laps of their final runs.
The Red Bull junior had set the fastest first sector on his first such attempt with a 31.141, nearly a tenth faster than Martins’ time of a 31.234, but a moment of oversteer in Brooklands at the start of sector two sent him wide of the racing line, compromising the rest of his lap.
Iwasa was the second driver in the field to cross the line on that first attempt, leaving him with enough time for a second flying lap in the dying moments of the session.
While his first and third sectors were slower on that second lap, Iwasa set the fastest second sector of the session to help him jump to third on a 1:39.952, 0.120 seconds off Martins’ pole time.
That improvement stood in stark contrast to the fate of teammate Arthur Leclerc, whose second lap was four tenths off his first as he appeared to struggle with tyre degradation throughout the 5.891-kilometre lap.
When asked by InsideF2 about the severity of the tyre wear, Iwasa admitted he did not know how he managed to set the session-best second sector, which contains most of the turns that induce Silverstone’s famously high tyre loads.
“I could improve a lot in the second sector in the last push, but obviously the first sector and the last sector were quite bad compared to the first push.
“For sure the tyre was dropping, but I’m not so clear why I could improve in the second sector a lot,” Iwasa said.
“The reason why the first push was not good was just my mistake, big mistake in the second sector, so I think that’s part of the driver’s job,” he continued.
“We had quite a good potential in the tyre in the second push. That’s why I could do our best time in the second sector, so I think we need to analyse the data a bit more about this.”
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited