DAMS driver Ayumu Iwasa leaves the sixth round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship at Baku disappointed, adding only one point to his season tally of 29 with eighth place in the Sprint Race.
Iwasa’s first flying lap in Qualifying, a 1:54.483, put him atop the timesheets for much of the session, but on his second run, he took too much speed entering Turn 3.
The Japanese driver crashed into the Tecpro barrier, bringing out the red flag with just under six minutes to go before falling to 13th place as other drivers improved at the end of the session.
Iwasa explained that an issue with his car contributed to the Qualifying accident that disrupted his weekend.
“Actually, it was a really bad weekend for me,” Iwasa said. “I had such good pace even in Free Practice and then in Quali. I made a mistake in FP, so it was not good enough, but I had a really good feeling.
“In Quali, it was a very bad situation because it was almost my mistake, but there was still a bit of a car issue when I hit the brakes, so then I crashed, and it was P13.
“It was really bad, and the weekend came from that really.”
Iwasa enjoyed a relatively quiet run to eighth in the Sprint Race, but the Feature Race did not go so smoothly.
As the field crowded up at the second safety car restart, Iwasa hit the rear of Jake Hughes’ VAR and broke his front wing, forcing him to make an additional pit stop.
The DAMS driver then fell to the back of the pack and came home 14th, the same position he now occupies in the championship.
Though he deflected responsibility for the Feature Race incident, Iwasa admitted that starting in the midfield left him susceptible to Baku’s characteristic chaos.
“Yesterday, the Sprint Race was not too bad, but not great because I was struggling with the car and the tyre. So even though I was managing the tyre well, my speed was not great compared to others. I was pushing quite hard.
“I think the car balance was very good, but not quick, so I think we have to find a solution for it.
“I had a crash today when we had the Safety Car restart. It was a really bad accident; everyone went flat, then someone hit the brake. I couldn’t avoid a crash… it was not my mistake, and it was really very bad.
“But if I had been P1 or at the front in Quali, then I would not have been in the position to have this crash in the Feature Race, so it means that I created the bad situation this weekend. So I want to say sorry to the team.
“Still, we can see positive things, and we will be back and get better results.”
Iwasa and DAMS will be back in action away from street circuits when FIA Formula 2 returns in July at Silverstone.
Image: Red Bull Media House