Ayumu Iwasa reigned triumphant in the Melbourne Feature Race, claiming his fourth victory in Formula 2. The pole-sitter charted his way through two Safety Car appearances and a chasing Théo Pourchaire to take the win and assume the Drivers’ Championship lead for the first time.

Pourchaire overcame his opening lap difficulties to return to the podium for ART Grand Prix, whilst Arthur Leclerc ensured a DAMS 1-3, achieving his maiden podium in third.


Iwasa held the lead from pole as Pourchaire came under threat from teammate Victor Martins into Turn 1. Meanwhile, Oliver Bearman sent Zane Maloney wide over the kerbs at Turn 3, dropping the Rodin Carlin driver down to eighth.

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On Lap 5, Frederik Vesti found his way past Crawford around the outside of Turn 14, whilst home hero Jack Doohan was on a charge of his own. He made up four places from P15 on the alternative strategy. Trying to make his own move on the Red Bull junior, Doohan went deep across the kerb. Left with nowhere to go, Crawford found the barriers to bring out the Safety Car on Lap 8.

Martins, Jehan Daruvala, Roman Stanek and Richard Verschoor dived into the pits for their mandatory stops, with the leading quartet following a lap later. Disaster struck for Bearman in the pits after contact between him and Isack Hadjar. It left the PREMA Racing driver with a puncture, whilst his teammate Vesti assumed the lead of the race.

Racing resumed entering Lap 13 as Dennis Hauger continued his progress from 10th on the grid, up to sixth with a pass on Martins at Turn 1. He claimed fifth on Lap 19, passing a yet-to-stop Enzo Fittipaldi at Turn 9.

Frederik Vesti hadn’t pitted either but on Lap 26, a second Safety Car was deployed after Roy Nissany spun and hit the barriers ahead of Turn 3. Vesti re-joined seventh on fresh soft tyres after his mandatory stop. Fittipaldi also used the opportunity to box, but a spin at pit exit was followed up by a crash, extending the Safety Car period.

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A final burst of action came as the Safety Car was withdrawn on Lap 30. Going back to green flag conditions, Martins locked up at Turn 12, hit the rear of Hauger’s MP Motorsport car and both fell out of the points. Vesti cleared Maloney in quick order on his fresh tyres at Turn 1, joining the podium battle in P4.

Iwasa managed the restart to become the first repeat winner in 2023 ahead of Pourchaire. Leclerc made it two DAMS cars on the podium in third. Vesti reached the chequered flag in fourth having started 13th, ahead of Maloney and Daruvala.

Verschoor made up 11 places to take seventh, whilst Doohan gave the Australian fans something to celebrate in eighth. Maini finished in ninth, as Trident’s Roman Stanek secured his first F2 points in P10.

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KEY QUOTE – Ayumu Iwasa, DAMS

“Finally, I won the Feature Race here in Australia. I’m so happy about the result. The pace was good, after the last Safety Car it was quite close, but still, I could win the race. I think we are improving massively since the beginning of the season, so it's really positive and we need to keep pushing to the end of the season.”


Ayumu Iwasa takes control of the Drivers’ Championship for the first time on 58 points, eight points clear of Théo Pourchaire. Frederik Vesti leapfrogs Ralph Boschung for third on 42, whilst Arthur Leclerc moves up to fifth on 33 points. Their 1-3 finish awards DAMS the lead of the Teams’ Standings on 91 points. ART Grand Prix remain second on 67 points, with MP Motorsport five points behind them in third.


The Formula 2 action resumes in just under a month’s time, when the field heads to the Baku City Circuit for the fourth round of the 2023 campaign from April 28-30.