Red Bull junior and Honda Formula Dream Project driver Ayumu Iwasa has joined DAMS for the 2022 campaign, graduating from Formula 3.

The 20-year-old debuted with the French team at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi and completes their line-up for the new season, joining the already announced Roy Nissany.

Iwasa steps up on the back of a solid rookie campaign in F3 last season with Hitech Grand Prix, where he finished 12th in the Drivers’ Championship with two podiums, including a victory at Budapest.

"I’m very excited to take on my first year of F2 with DAMS,” said Iwasa. “We worked together at the test in December, and I learnt a lot about the car and the team. We collected plenty of data, which will be useful ahead of the pre-season test.

“I’ll be taking on some new tracks this year, which will be a challenge but I’m looking forward to developing my skills throughout the season. I used to live in Le Mans when I was racing in French F4 so it’s great to be competing in F2 with a team based in the area. I can’t wait to arrive in Bahrain and get back on track with DAMS for testing on 2-4 March.”

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Iwasa debuted with the DAMS at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi
Iwasa debuted with the DAMS at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi

In only his first season of European racing, Iwasa stormed to the 2020 French Formula 4 title with nine wins and 15 podiums.

The Japanese driver followed this up with a drive in the 2021 Asian F3 Championship, where he finished eighth with one podium, racing alongside 2022 team-mate Roy Nissany.

"We are extremely happy to welcome Ayumu to the team,” said Co-Team Owners Grégory and Olivier Driot. “Ayumu started his single-seater career in Europe very successfully by winning the Formula 4 French Championship which is an impressive feat. He also had a strong first season in F3, managing to take victory in Hungary in front of some very experienced competitors last July.

“This year is going to be a whole new challenge for him in F2, but Ayumu showed during the Abu Dhabi test that he has the potential to perform at this level. For DAMS it’s also very exciting to work with Red Bull, with who we have had some great success in the past, and we are proud to be starting a new partnership with Honda.”

Red Bull Racing Motorsport Advisor Dr. Helmut Marko added: “We are very happy to work with DAMS again. Ayumu is a young and promising Japanese driver who we hope will be able to make his way to F1.

“He showed his talent in F3 last year, so we are confident he can have a successful F2 season. We’re excited to see Ayumu’s development in 2022 and looking forward to positive results on the track.”