F2: Iwasa takes Drivers’ Championship lead with Monaco Sprint win
Ayumu Iwasa claimed his third win of the 2023 Formula 2 season, winning the Sprint Race from P2 on the grid in Monaco.
Isack Hadjar had retained the lead from reverse grid pole at lights out and led through the first Safety Car phase, deployed after contact between Kush Maini and Clément Novalak. At the restart though, the Hitech Pulse-Eight car slowed with an issue, handing over the lead of the race to fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver, Iwasa.
From there, the Japanese driver managed the gap to Daruvala behind him with the gap hovering around a second for the middle phase of the race.
A second Safety Car came on Lap 22 after contact between Amaury Cordeel and Juan Manuel Correa left the former in the barriers at Turn 5. It set up a dash to the finish, managed masterfully by Iwasa who surged into a three second lead at the end of the first lap back racing.
By the end, his winning margin was up to six seconds ahead of Jehan Daruvala and Jak Crawford in second and third.
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Richard Verschoor pressured Crawford throughout the race but couldn’t find a route through on the narrow and twisty Monte Carlo streets. Red Bull Junior and Rodin Carlin driver Zane Maloney finished a lonely fifth ahead of Jack Doohan, Victor Martins and Théo Pourchaire in the points-paying positions.
Iwasa’s win gives him the lead of the Championship heading into Sunday’s Feature Race, now on 68 points. Pourchaire added a point to his tally with P8 in the Sprint and is now second in the standings with 66 points. Polesitter for the Feature Race Frederik Vesti sits third in the Championship on 64.
For a in-depth recap of the Formula 2 Sprint Race, read the report and visit the official Formula 2 website here.