Ayumu Iwasa topped FIA Formula 2’s Silverstone Practice with a lap time of 1:41.593 as the Japanese racing driver continued his form at the British circuit following his second place in the 2022 Sprint Race.
Despite saying he is ‘not focusing on the championship’, Iwasa continues to put in continuously good performances.
The 45-minute session began with many drivers taking the early lunge to get out onto the track.
Amongst those were Theo Pourchaire and Ralph Boschung, who the stewards quickly investigated for causing a collision in the pit lane.
Iwasa took first but was soon replaced by Alpine junior Victor Martins, who was five-tenths quicker with a lap time of 1:42.690.
When other drivers began to improve their lap times as the tyres came into the perfect window, Martins pushed this time to 1:42.067 with 30 minutes left and Jack Doohan only 0.077s behind.
Doohan quickly took the number one spot with a time of 1:41.776, his time being two-tenths quicker than Pourchaire behind in second. Enzo Fittipaldi put in a time good enough for third, pushing Martins down again into fourth.
Juan Manuel Correa brought out a red flag with 23 minutes left when oversteer led to a spin into the gravel trap, leaving him beached. The incident occurred in the same place where drivers like Oliver Bearman had locked up only one lap earlier.
All drivers except Correa returned to the track with 15 minutes left on the clock to put in their final laps.
Whilst many drivers improved, few changed positions except Bearman, Martins and Iwasa.
Iwasa jumped from 14th to sixth with his lap but was soon pushed down to eighth by Bearman and Isack Hadjar. Martins returned to the top three in second whilst Bearman, once again, moved up the board into sixth.
Championship leader, Frederik Vesti, had struggled to get into the top 10 and only managed to record a lap good enough for P13 with ten minutes remaining. Meanwhile, Dennis Hauger ran wide in Copse, compromising his lap and keeping him in fifth.
In the final ten minutes, Dennis Hauger had a high-speed spin at Brooklands, then came to a stop just off the track. This brought out the yellow flags in Sector 2, and a virtual safety car quickly followed.
Clément Novalak brought out the session’s second red flag soon after the VSC ended when he beached his Trident in the gravel on the outside of Stowe. The session was stopped and did not resume with only two minutes left.
This left Iwasa at the top of the board, followed by Martins and Doohan. Arthur Leclerc had put in a good lap to finish fourth, and Fittipaldi completed the top five drivers for Friday’s Practice at Silverstone.
Image Credit: Red Bull Media House