Finishing second in his first-ever Formula 2 session, Ayumu Iwasa was pleased that he had been able to put a clean lap together on his second set of fresh tyres, admitting that he had made a “mistake on every lap” during his first run.

Making the step up to F2 after a sole season in F3, Iwasa said after signing for DAMS that he was expecting a steep learning curve in the opening few rounds.

At the end of Free Practice, the Red Bull junior said that he was pleased with the improvements that he has made since first stepping into the car at the post-season testing in Abu Dhabi, especially given the tricky conditions in Free Practice at a gusty Bahrain International Circuit.

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Iwasa finished second in Free Practice
Iwasa finished second in Free Practice

“I think that it was quite a good session, but I still don't think that it was great” summarised Iwasa. “Not everyone used a new tyre on at the end, but I used a second set of new tyres, so I think the margins are quite big.

“But I am pleased because we found a few solutions and we changed the car a little bit and I think it was really working, but I can still improve a lot.

“I made a mistake on every lap on the first tyre I think, but I was able to put everything together on the second set of tyres.

“The effect of the wind was so big, especially in the high-speed sections, but even in the low-speed sections as well. That was really tough and I had to adjust my driving.”

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Iwasa is in his rookie year of F2 with DAMS
Iwasa is in his rookie year of F2 with DAMS

Iwasa has a few hours to go over the data with his team following his first race weekend outing, before having to put it all together when the stakes are higher in Qualifying at 7.30pm (local time), the first points’ paying session of the season.

“During the test, I was trying to improve how I adjust between the tyres, from the hard tyre to the soft tyre and back again,” he explained. “When I put the soft tyre on at the test, I struggled to adjust and there was a big margin, as there is a big grip difference between the two tyres.

“During Free Practice that was my task, and it will be my aim again for Qualifying. I have to adjust my driving and keep improving. My main task is just to put everything together on one lap.”