DAMS claims double points finish in F2 finale at Yas Marina Circuit
DAMS drivers Ayumu Iwasa and Arthur Leclerc both brought home strong points finishes at the final Feature Race of the 2023 FIA Formula 2 season in Abu Dhabi.
A close-fought qualifying session saw Iwasa claim fifth on the grid, while Leclerc would start both races in 13th.
Red Bull Junior Iwasa secured the final point in eighth during Saturday’s Sprint Race, before enjoying a strong start in the Feature, making overtakes to advance up the order. He showed impressive defensive ability while on older tyres in the latter stages, eventually finishing fourth.
Meanwhile, Ferrari Driver Academy member Leclerc climbed seven places up to sixth with a strong recovery drive, showing competitive pace throughout and setting the second-fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:38.353.
Jak Crawford and Juan Manuel Correa will join the team for post-season testing later this week, on 29 November – 1 December.
Ayumu Iwasa: “We made some improvements to the setup of the car during Free Practice that gave us a solid base for the weekend. In qualifying I was pleased with my lap in the second run, but unfortunately I couldn’t improve on my time at the end of the session which cost a potential front-row start. Saturday was a difficult day, I felt an issue with the car that meant I only had the pace for P8. Today was better, we battled hard but didn’t have the speed to challenge for the win, P4 was the best we could achieve. Finally, I’d like to thank DAMS for an incredible two years, I’ve learned so much and developed hugely as a driver.”
Qualifying: 5th | Sprint Race: 8th (+1 point) | Feature Race: 4th (+12 points)
Arthur Leclerc: “Qualifying was tough, my early end to Free Practice meant I struggled to find my rhythm throughout the session. I felt we had good pace on Saturday, so it was unfortunate to have had to start from the pit lane. Today we were competitive, I was comfortable in the car and made up several positions. I’m proud of the pace and performance we produced in both races and it feels good to end the season in a positive way.”
Qualifying: 13th | Sprint Race: 21st | Feature Race: 6th, (+8 points)
Charles Pic, Team Owner: “Qualifying was a close session, Ayu did well to claim fifth on the grid despite a balance issue, though it was unfortunate that we didn’t have the pace to improve on the final lap of the session. Arthur’s Friday was majorly affected by a mechanical failure, which was totally out of our control. This meant he was unable to take full part in Free Practice, and made it very tough for him in qualifying. Saturday was a frustrating afternoon, we weren’t able to fight for the top places and a mistake at the start line meant that Arthur was forced out of contention for points. However, both drivers performed well today, Ayu defended brilliantly. Arthur had a great recovery drive, he made some clinical overtakes to claim an eventual P6. While we’re disappointed that Ayu missed out on P3 in the drivers’ championship, I am proud of both his and the whole team’s performance throughout the season.”
Image: Dutch Photo Agency