Rising Honda star opens up on future Red Bull plans following successful F1 test

Thomas Maher
Ayumi Iwasa, Red Bull junior, finished 15th in F1 testing in Abu Dhabi.

Ayumi Iwasa finished 15th on the timesheets in the combined F1 test in Abu Dhabi.

Ayumu Iwasa drove for AlphaTauri in the Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, before a late mechanical issue.

Red Bull junior Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda Formula Dream Project driver, was handed the keys to an AlphaTauri AT04 for Wednesday’s Young Driver test at Yas Marina.

The DAMS F2 racer, who switches to Super Formula for a campaign in Japan in 2024 with Team Mugen, finished the day a respectable 15th with a best time of 1:25.753. This was 1.4 seconds off the leading pace, set by Esteban Ocon.

Ayumu Iwasa: No Red Bull plans in 2024

With Iwasa set to remain a Red Bull junior for 2024, he confirmed that there are currently not any more plans for him to get behind the wheel of either a Red Bull or an AlphaTauri next season.

“There are no plans at the moment but, currently, I will stay in Milton Keynes,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com, after his day ended early in Abu Dhabi following a late mechanical issue on his car.

“Because I have a base in Milton Keynes at the moment – so I will keep it next year.

“But also, as a reason why I race in Super Formula, I will also need to spend time in Japan for the team, for the race.

“So I think it should be like 50/50 – it depends on the schedule.”

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Reflecting on his day behind the wheel of the AT04, Iwasa was thrilled to have been solidly quick and not to have made any errors.

“Basically, in the morning, I didn’t push to the limit from my side because I had to learn the car,” he said.

“So I was building up the pace progressively, but still not to the limit. So we were testing some test items in the car.

“But, in the afternoon, I started to push more. We were putting more new tyres, especially at the end of the day. But, unfortunately, I couldn’t do the last soft tyre [run] because of the car issue.

“I don’t know the details – I got the smoke and the fire… I don’t know what happened.”

“It’s been an amazing day. It’s completely different from the F2 car. I felt it’s completely different.

“But actually, I was able to enjoy this a lot today and I had the biggest experience from the car, from the team, and from the tyre as well. So I think today is one of the most amazing days in my racing career.”

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