Ayumu Iwasa took solid strides forward in Round 2 of the season at Le Castellet, scoring points in all three races and even fighting for the lead in Race 1, but the Hitech Grand Prix driver reckons both he and the team have plenty more work to do ahead of the Red Bull Ring.
After scoring only once in Barcelona, taking P7 in Race 2, Iwasa equalled that finish in the final race at Paul Ricard and also took further points with eighth and ninth place in the first and second races.
The Red Bull junior was also one of five different leaders in the opening race, before dropping back later on. A valuable experience for a driver who believes he is learning every time he steps in the car.
“I can learn a lot just from driving,” said Iwasa. “Learning about the car setup for example. As a team, we have to improve a lot, both in terms of the car setup and my driving.
“This (weekend) was very good for me. I felt that I could improve from Barcelona a lot and I could see that in Qualifying and in the three races as well. I knew that I could continue learning a lot and have done this weekend.”
Experiencing rain, albeit unexpectedly, for the first time in Formula 3 in Race 3 on Sunday morning provided the 19-year-old with a different type of challenge to overcome.
“The first few laps, I was struggling with the car balance,” admitted Iwasa. “The car was not so bad, and I had good pace compared to the guy in front of me, but my tyre management was not so good. So, in the last few laps, my front tyre was completely dead.”
The rookie departed Round 2 an encouraging 12th in the Championship, level on points with Race 2 winner Arthur Leclerc.
With less than two weeks to prepare for Round 3, Iwasa is thankful for the testing experience he gained at the track during pre-season and says he will be maximising his time on the simulator between now and then.
“It wasn't so bad,” said Iwasa on his testing experience in Spielberg. “My driving has not been as good in high-speed corners, so that is an area that we need to look at.
“I will be working to improve on that, and it is an area that I think I can be better at for the Red Bull Ring. We can look at this on the simulator and we can look back at the data with the team.”