Thoughts from Iwasa, Drugovich and Lawson

FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at the Yas Marina Circuit. In third place, Liam Lawson for Carlin, in second place Felipe Drugovich for MP Motorsport and taking his second Feature Race win of the season, our winner, Ayumu Iwasa. Ayu, a tremendous race, very well done, so much pressure at the end from Felipe. How special is this win for you?

Ayumu Iwasa: The race was completely different to Paul Ricard. For example, I had such big pressure from Felipe. Actually, as we saw, the pace was not so great and I was struggling a lot. The car behaviour and balance were ok, I just didn't have enough speed to make a gap, so I think we need to look at the data after this and check what we can improve on from this race. Anyway, I won the race so I'm really happy about this!

FIA Formula 2: Talk us through those closing laps, did those Virtual Safety Cars help you?

Iwasa: Yes a bit. The first Virtual Safety Car was quite good because I could do quite a good restart, but the second one was quite bad. I didn't do a good start and then Felipe came quite close so it was on the edge. I think once I had the yellow in Sector 3 was quite great timing for me because Felipe was just next to me.

FIA Formula 2: Talking about timing, talk us through team strategy, why did you pit when you pitted?

Iwasa: Basically before the race, we were expecting a bit better degradation, but I was struggling with car balance and a little bit of oversteer. Still, I was trying to manage the balance and the tyre but it was not working so much. I think that my engineer decided to pit, it was not my call, my engineer told me and I agreed so that's why I pitted quite early.

FIA Formula 2: You say you were struggling with car balance during the race, how different today was the car compared to Qualifying because both DAMS cars on the front row suggest you had a good one-lap pace?

Iwasa: I think the car was quite good with one-lap pace, but it wasn't so impressive with pace in the race. Even yesterday I was struggling so much and I was losing a lot of places. We were focusing on the improvements for today's race and we were working a lot yesterday night. We found some improvements and I was trying everything in this race but it was still not enough. Maybe we need to improve the car even more, and also I want to check the data on my driving.

FIA Formula 2: Look, very well done today. Many congratulations Felipe, coming to you now. Talk us through those closing laps.

Felipe Drugovich: I think it was very close, I wanted that win so much. Someone told me that if I won one more I would be the one that had the most wins in F2, but it didn't happen so I think I'm level with De Vries or something like that. I also wanted it so much for the team, to close up the Teams' Championship with a win, but I didn't manage to do that. My tyres were burning hot behind Ayumu, and I was pushing every lap trying to get a little bit closer. I think it was about five laps that I was pushing so much to get into DRS and I just couldn't open it until one lap I got it. Then the VSC came, and I got close again after the VSC and then the yellow flag in the last sector. Those VSCs didn't help me a lot but I only had one proper attack at the end on the last lap but I couldn't make it. Well done to him and very happy for the team.

FIA Formula 2: How good was the car today?

Drugovich: Very, very good I think I couldn't ask for more than that. The car was amazing. We probably should have stopped a bit earlier, but still, the car was amazing. Big thanks to the team. Shame that I had a massive lock-up on the rears the first time when we almost came together into Turn 6, that affected me a lot with the rears. I had no rears for five laps and then I had to push a lot to defend from Liam. That wasn't ideal but even with that, the car was performing better. So I'm very very happy.

FIA Formula 2: It's been a tremendous season to end your time in Formula 2, how much will you miss this Championship?

Drugovich: A lot! I think it's the biggest part of my career that I've spent here, three years, and I really enjoy the people. Also, MP has been a family to me and I really enjoyed working with them. I'll be moving on, and hopefully, I'll be around also next year in the other paddock, but I'll be coming many times to the Formula 2 paddock to see them.

FIA Formula 2: Felipe, many thanks, well done to you as well. Liam coming to you now, Sprint Race winner yesterday, on the podium today, it's a brilliant way to end the season for you.

Liam Lawson: Yeah it's a nice way to end it, it has obviously been a pretty rocky season overall but to finish like this is really really nice for the team as well. I don't know where we finished in the Teams' standings but I think we're up there. So it's nice to repay them because the work they've done this year has been really good. It's unfortunate that we just don't have the points to show it. Happy with the weekend and nice to close the season like this.

FIA Formula 2: You came through from P9 on the grid, what was the key to your progress?

Lawson: The pitstop honestly! The start was good, I made up two or three spots, and then we were sort of in a train for the first couple of laps. I saw that it was starting to really bunch up at the front so as soon as the window opened I just wanted to try and get clear air, luckily everyone stayed out, I boxed and then came out and had good space. The team did a really good pitstop, I came in behind Dennis and came out inches in front of him. So I think that's what really made our race, if I'd got stuck behind him that would have really cost us. This one is definitely down to them.

FIA Formula 2: You said in the pitlane a minute ago that you think you lacked a little bit of pace in the middle of the race, why do you think that was?

Lawson: It's hard to say, following is just really, really tough here. Yesterday I had clear air and the car was just completely on rails and was strong all the way through. Whereas today, like the moments where Felipe said he had that mistake he hit the rear lock and went wide, and I was on his gearbox for half a lap. I think these moments really hurt the tyre a lot when you're following really closely, then I'd fall back and be overheating and then it would come back again. I'd start to close then I'd get close and then have to fall back again. Following is really really tough, I think that's probably what it's mostly down to because the car was pretty good.

FIA Formula 2: Thank you Liam!