Straight back into the swing of things in Barcelona, Ayumu Iwasa is focusing on the here and now as the 2023 Formula 2 season approaches its midpoint. Firmly in the Championship hunt, the DAMS driver isn’t letting it distract him from his main task this weekend – bringing home victory.

Looking to recreate his 2022 form, Iwasa secured his maiden Formula 2 podium at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with second in the Sprint Race. Now, off the back of his Monte Carlo Sprint Race victory, Iwasa says he and his French team are steadily improving and are eager to demonstrate it from the moment they hit the track.

“I had quite good speed here last year, so I hope this year will be good as well. Unfortunately, we didn’t make a good step in the test, but I think from Monaco, we are coming back progressively. Hopefully, we have good potential from Free Practice again and then if we’ve got good speed, I think we will be able to perform well enough this weekend.”

However, the Spanish circuit he faces this time around has one major adjustment – the removal of the final chicane. With three right-hand turns through 12, 13 and 14 seamlessly blending into one another, the new layout emphasises the high-speed elements more. That in turn places a greater strain on tyres than the already degradation-heavy circuit.

default image

Additionally, given the circuit’s limited overtaking opportunities, the window to make a move stick has become even narrower, forcing nailing Qualifying to be at forefront of the Red Bull junior’s mind.

“We had good speed already in Monaco, but I hit the wall and broke the car. If I didn’t have this kind of mistake, I could have done better. In Qualifying, I just need to put it all together to show our good pace,” Iwasa reflected.

READ MORE: Barcelona Preview: Reaching the halfway mark

“It’s more difficult now for the tyre management. It’s changed to more of a high-speed track and this will make tyre management even harder. I will need to adapt to it, but everyone has the same experience from the test. I think it will be quite interesting to see what the effect is in the Sprint Race.

“If there’s a big speed difference between the cars, overtaking will be a bit easier, but once the pace is the same between the two it will be really difficult. If I have good potential in the pace, maybe I will be able to overtake quite easily. It means that tyre management will be important, but it’s quite difficult to analyse before the race. I just need to do my best in the Sprint Race and then analyse that well enough for the Feature Race, which I think will make the driver and the car’s performance much better.”

default image

Sitting third in the Standings, there’s no doubt that Iwasa has carved a place out as one of the season’s potential title contenders. Despite the pressure and the fanfare of being at the forefront of the action, Iwasa’s attention is fixed on the short-term and the need to continue adding to his three-victory tally sooner rather than later.

“I’m not caring too much about the points right now. I know that I’m third in the Championship, but not P1, so I need to just go for the win. Then if I win the race, I take the points. I don’t need to save the position anymore; I just need to push free enough and show mine and the team’s performance. That’s my job this weekend.”