DAMS takes championship lead following Iwasa win and Leclerc podium in Melbourne
DAMS jumped to the top of the FIA Formula 2 Teams’ standings following a Feature Race to remember in Melbourne, with Ayumu Iwasa taking victory and Arthur Leclerc on the podium for the first time in the series, finishing third.
The weekend started strongly for the team on F2’s first visit to Australia as Iwasa clinched pole position in mixed conditions, with Leclerc taking seventh.
In Sunday’s Feature Race, Iwasa put in a faultless performance to claim his fourth win in F2 and second of the 2023 season to take the lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Meanwhile, Leclerc raced strongly throughout and stayed out of trouble to benefit from incidents ahead, claiming third to cap off an excellent weekend that also saw the Monegasque earn fourth in the Sprint Race.
Ayumu Iwasa: “We had good pace from the beginning of Free Practice, in qualifying we had very different conditions, but the car was great and we secured pole. The team made a great call to change tyres early so we could get them up to temperature quickly, which helped us improve the pace before others. And then in the Feature Race, I got a good start, we pitted at the right time and managed the race well. I’m really happy with the win, the car was amazing and we’ve been improving at each event this season, so I’m ready to keep pushing for the rest of the campaign.”
Qualifying: 1st (+2 points) | Sprint Race: 13th | Feature Race: 1st (+25 points)
Arthur Leclerc: “I found qualifying really tricky, it was the first time for me with wet tyres in F2, so I had to get comfortable with it quickly. P7 was a good starting position for both races, I think we had potential to do better but there was a lot of positives. The Sprint Race was also strong, we made it work on the soft tyres, which not many managed to do and we kept up the pace until the end. Today we had a great race, I’m pleased with the progress we’re making. We had good speed throughout and kept it clean to take a podium, which of course I’m so happy about! Thanks to the team and I’m looking forward to continuing the season strongly.”
Qualifying: 7th | Sprint Race: 4th (+5 points) | Feature Race: 3rd (+15 points)
Charles Pic, Team Owner: “It was the perfect Feature Race for us, Ayumu had an amazing weekend, taking pole in tough conditions and never looking in trouble in the race, while Arthur proved his ability throughout with two great results. We knew that we had this potential since the beginning of the season so it’s a brilliant feeling to realise it today. We’ve got a long championship ahead, but to be leading the standings can only be a positive and we’re all very happy with the performance of the whole team. The engineers did a great job preparing the car from Free Practice onwards and the drivers delivered on track, so we’re delighted!”
Image: Dutch Photo Agency