Iwasa beats DAMS team mate Nissany to Yas Marina pole

Formula 2

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Ayumu Iwasa snatched a surprise pole position from DAMS team mate Roy Nissany to top the final qualifying session of the Formula 2 season at the Yas Marina circuit.

Despite not troubling the top of the times throughout much of the half-hour session, Iwasa’s final lap saw him beat team mate Nissany by less than five-hundredths of a second before a red flag effectively ended the session. Theo Pourchaire took third on the grid for Sunday’s feature race ahead of champion Felipe Drugovich.

With qualifying taking place immediately after the conclusion of the opening F1 practice session, Drugovich was one of three drivers who climbed out of the cars they had been lent for the first F1 practice an immediately jumped back into their Formula 2 machines for qualifying. The other two were Liam Lawson and Jack Doohan.

When the session began, Pourchaire set the initial benchmark time with a 1’37.145, which could not be matched by Juri Vips, Lawson and Jehan Daruvala. Doohan jumped to the top of the times with a 1’36.677 only seconds before his Virtuosi team mate Marino Sato lost control of his car entering turn 13, spinning into the barriers. That brought out the red flags while Sato’s car was recovered.

The session eventually resumed with just over 23 minutes of time remaining. Pourchaire improved on his second flying lap by two tenths of a second, but remained in second place behind Doohan. Daruvala also improved to move into third, with Dennis Hauger taking fourth place.

With around 15 minutes of time remaining, the track fell silent. It was only until just over 10 minutes were left that the drivers began peeling out of the pit lane and back onto the circuit as the sun slowly began to set over the Yas Marina circuit.

Sitting in sixth place, champion Drugovich was one of the first drivers to commence another flying lap. He successfully went quickest after a strong final sector, but he was immediately beaten by Pourchaire, who took provisional pole by almost two tenths from Drugovich. Logan Sargeant then grabbed a provisional spot on the front row start by improving to second place, while Doohan threw away an opportunity to take back pole by brushing the wall on the exit of turn 14.

In the final minutes, Drugovich improved on his final flying lap to move ahead of Sargeant into second place before, suddenly, DAMS driver Roy Nissany leapt up into pole position, narrowly beating Pourchaire’s pole time. DAMS’ excitement doubled when Nissany’s team mate Iwasa went even quicker, taking pole position by 0.036 seconds.

Debutante Zane Maloney then spun at the hairpin of turn nine on his final lap, stopping on the outside run off and triggering a red flag. With only seconds remaining, the interruption effectively ended the session and ensured an all-DAMS front row for Sunday’s feature race.

Pourchaire took third on the feature race grid, ahead of Drugovich, Doohan and Sargeant in sixth. Richard Verschoor will start on pole position for Saturday’s reversed-grid sprint race, with Lawson lining up alongside him.

Juan Manuel Correa took 18th on the grid for his return to F2 with HWA, one place ahead of Maloney.

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Formula 2 Yas Marina qualifying results

117Ayumu IwasaDAMS
216Roy NissanyDAMS
310Theo PourchaireART
411Felipe DrugovichMP
53Jack DoohanVirtuosi
66Logan SargeantCarlin
71Dennis HaugerPrema
825Amaury CordeelVan Amersfoort
95Liam LawsonCarlin
1020Richard VerschoorTrident
117Marcus ArmstrongHitech
122Jehan DaruvalaPrema
1322Enzo FittipaldiCharouz
1415Ralph BoschungCampos
158Juri VipsHitech
169Frederik VestiART
1712Clement NovalakMP
1824Juan Manuel CorreaVan Amersfoort
1921Zane MaloneyTrident
2014Olli CaldwellCampos
2123Tatiana CalderonCharouz
22Marino SatoVirtuosi

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “Iwasa beats DAMS team mate Nissany to Yas Marina pole”

  1. wait is nissany good now?
    I haven’t been paying attention

  2. Iwasa is a surprise, yes, and aided by the red flag… but Nissany on the front row is the bigger shock, even with the red flag!

    1. Yep @eurobrun Nissany is average at best, so big shock there.

      Iwasa on the other hand has shown very impressive speed at times, just inconsistent. I could see him getting into Alpha Tauri in a year or two.

  3. @eurobrun why is Iwasa pole a shock? The Japanese driver is the most impressive rookie in F2 this year, a feature race winner and has already been a pole sitter. If he was not disqualified for excessive plank wear in Monza he would be fighting for 3rd in the championship.

    It is arguable that he is the more talented Honda development driver than Yuki Tsunoda

    What IS shocking is useless Nissany being second, DAMS has clearly got the winning setup right for this track if journeyman backmarker Nissany is qualifying near the front..

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