On the way to F1 | Iwasa another Red Bull junior to seriously consider

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On the way to F1 |  Iwasa another Red Bull junior to seriously consider

In Saudi Arabia it was already time for the second Formula 2 race weekend of this season. The Jeddah Street Circuit saw two spectacular races, with some talents showing their potential. In a new edition of the Road to F1, editors-in-chief Terrence Riepma and Mike van Weert and editor Bart Slabbekoorn update you completely.

Iwasa shows his class especially during the sprint race

Terrence: ‘Ayumu Iwasa showed his class last weekend. On a good day, it seems as if the Japanese is unbeatable. The Red Bull Racing and Honda protégé had such a day on Saturday, during the sprint race. Starting from P4, Iwasa immediately had a top start, after which he was already second in turn two. A lap later, fellow Red Bull talent Jak Crawford was outmaneuvered for the lead of the race.’

‘Iwasa was unable to make a gap against the competition during the entire race, but at the same time there were no real attacks. In the first half, the 21-year-old held his own against Ralph Boschung, including after several safety car restarts. Subsequently, Jehan Daruvala was also unable to score against the driver from Osaka, even though he briefly came alongside Iwasa on lap fifteen. However, the MP Motorsport driver shot straight into turn one and had to relinquish the lead.’

‘Victor Martins was then the man who had to make it difficult for Iwasa, but the Frenchman also could not ignore the DAMS driver, who held his own after leading nineteen of the twenty laps. In the main race on Sunday, Iwasa also finished fourth, which means he is now on 31 points. The gap to championship leader Boschung is only two points. It seems that we have to seriously consider the Japanese as a title candidate.

Surprising Daruvala has a strong weekend

Bart. “Jehan Daruvala showed this weekend that we shouldn’t write him off. The former Red Bull junior is now in his fourth season in Formula 2. The Indian’s performance has been mixed so far, but he has shown what he can do at times. This weekend there was another glimpse of his class and he showed that he can compete for wins. On Friday, Daruvala set a neat fifth fastest time in qualifying.’

‘Then the sprint race started on Saturday. Daruvala had a good start and managed to take second place after the safety car, due to the crash of Theo Pourchaire with Oliver Bearman. The driver of the Dutch MP Motorsport then ended up in a nice fight with Martins and Iwasa. In the end, the 24-year-old had to settle for third place, but he showed that the MP Motorsport car has the necessary speed.

He also drove a stable race on Sunday, which again earned him a third place. With two podium places, Daruvala had a successful weekend in Saudi Arabia. The former Red Bull junior is now fifth in the drivers’ standings, nine points behind standings leader Boschung. After a less than satisfactory first weekend in Bahrain, anything is still possible for the Indian and MP Motorsport.’

Martins and Bearman stand out the most despite poor results

Mike: ‘Sometimes a good performance by a young Formula 2 driver is not reflected in the results of a race or qualifying. Victor Martins and Oliver Bearman had such a weekend, especially Sunday, at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. The drivers presented the viewer with a beautiful fight and seemed to be fighting for quite some time who would take off with the victory. In the end it was Frederik Vesti who managed to take the victory in the main race on Sunday.’

‘Martins showed impressive performances during the weekend, which can also be found in the results. The rookie took pole position for the first time and in the sprint race he also managed to fight back to second place, just behind Ayumu Iwasa. This achievement should not go unnoticed. Bearman also seemed to be on his way to a good number of points, but Théo Pourchaire decided to knock the Prema driver out of the race with an incomprehensible action. It was therefore clear that Martins and Bearman were the drivers to watch out for.’

It was Bearman who was better off from second place than the Alpine junior driver. The real fight between the two drivers was not yet in sight, as Bearman managed to pull a gap of two seconds after the start. On the eighth lap, both came in for their pit stops and the violence erupted in midfield, due to a slow pit stop by Bearman. The push and pull continued for several laps before Vesti saw his chance to overtake his fighting teammate. On lap 16 Bearman lost control of his car in turn 23 and a lap later it was Martins’ turn. The Formula 3 champion had to abandon his race, while Bearman left Jeddah with one point.’

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