Ayumu Iwasa, Dams, Albert Park, 2023

Iwasa resists Pourchaire as collision under Safety Car decides third place

Formula 2

Posted on

| Written by

Ayumu Iwasa converted pole into victory in a dramatic Formula 2 feature race in Melbourne to take the championship lead after six rounds.

He finished just ahead of Théo Pourchaire in second, after both drivers remained calm under pressure despite the carnage which unfolded behind them during two Safety Car periods.

They were joined on the podium by Arthur Leclerc, who inherited a shock third place late on after Dennis Hauger and Victor Martins collided with three laps to go.

After Iwasa claimed pole by 0.6 seconds in the rain two days ago, he lined up on a front-row with Pourchaire in dry conditions on Sunday. Both were looking to make amends after failing to score in yesterday’s sprint race, won by Hauger.

A dream start ensured Iwasa successfully held the lead into turn one while the ART duo battled behind. Victor Martins overtook Pourchaire into the opening corner, but was repassed by his team mate heading into turn three.

The opening laps were relatively free of drama, but the first incident brought the Safety Car out by lap seven. Jack Doohan, who had already moved up four positions to 11th, made a late lunge down the inside of turn 13, hitting Jak Crawford which left the Hitech driver in the gravel.

The Safety Car period provoked a frenzy of pit stops, and controversy in the pit lane. Oliver Bearman picked up a puncture when he hit the front-left of Hadjar, who was released from his pit box as the Prema approached. Martins also lost out as a result of the Safety Car, dropping behind Hadjar who pitted shortly beforehand.

Not everybody decided to pit, and so Frederik Vesti led the lap 12 safety car restart while Iwasa led those who had taken fresh tyres in fifth place. The fresh-tyred runners soon set about tackling those who had stayed out.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

The risk of incidents was high, and Hadjar fell victim to one on lap 14, when he was hit from behind by Roy Nissany at the penultimate corner, losing several positions. Nissany had already been in the gravel at turn 10 earlier that lap, following contact with Enzo Fittipaldi for which the latter received a five-second penalty.

Then on lap 15, Hauger performed a brilliant move to overtake Martins down the inside of turn one for a net third place in the race. Ahead, Iwasa and Pourchaire made their way through the traffic unscathed before a second Safety Car period on lap 26.

Nissany was the culprit again. The PHM driver had got on the grass slightly at the exit of turn two, lost control and spun into the barrier. Moments later, his old foe Fittipaldi also spun into the wall at the same location.

Fittipaldi had initially spun at turn two, then resumed, before his rear suspension appeared to fail which pitched him into the wall just metres ahead of Nissany’s stationary car. Amid the carnage, Vesti made his pit stop which put Iwasa into the lead again.

Hadjar’s day got worse during the Safety Car period. First he earned a 10-second time penalty for leaving the track and rejoining unsafely. Then came an even worse mistake.

Seconds before the race restarted, Martins locked up at the penultimate corner and hit Hauger, sending both podium contenders tumbling down the order. Leclerc inherited third place as a three-lap sprint to the chequered flag began.

Iwasa controlled the closing laps well to ultimately cross the line 0.8 seconds ahead of Pourchaire. Leclerc also did well to hold onto third, despite the charging Vesti behind on much fresher tyres. Zane Maloney then came home in fifth, ahead of Jehan Daruvala, Richard Verschoor, Doohan and Kush Maini, while Roman Stanek took the final point position in tenth.

Iwasa, the first driver to win two F2 races this year, moved into the championship lead on 58 points. Pourchaire lies eight behind with Vesti in third on 42. The F2 season will resume in Baku at the end of April.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Formula 2 Australia race two results

111Ayumu IwasaDAMS
25Theo PourchaireART
312Arthur LeclercDAMS
47Frederik VestiPrema
53Zane MaloneyRodin Carlin
62Jehan DaruvalaMP
722Richard VerschoorVan Amersfoort
814Jack DoohanVirtuosi
924Kush MainiCampos
1020Roman StaněkTrident
1123Juan Manuel CorreaVan Amersfoort
1221Clement NovalakTrident
1317Brad BenavidesPHM Racing by Charouz
1415Amaury CordeelVirtuosi
158Ollie BearmanPrema
166Victor MartinsART
1710Isack HadjarHitech
1825Ralph BoschungCampos
191Dennis HaugerMP
DNF4Enzo FittipaldiRodin Carlin
DNF16Roy NissanyPHM Racing by Charouz
DNF9Jak CrawfordHitech

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Formula 2

Browse all Formula 2 articles

Author information

Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

One comment on “Iwasa resists Pourchaire as collision under Safety Car decides third place”

  1. Absolute stupid driving while impy stewards having a snooze on job.

Comments are closed.