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Iwasa “has the expertise” to win 2023 F2 title says DAMS proprietor Pic

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Former Formulation 1 driver Pic bought the team in February 2022 from co-team principals Olivier and Gregory Driot who had been in cost for the reason that passing of their father and group founder Jean-Paul Driot in 2019.

DAMS completed sixth within the groups’ standings final season, with Purple Bull junior Iwasa taking fifth within the drivers’ championship after function race wins at Paul Ricard and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.

Although Pic says he was “not fully happy” with the group’s 2022 season, he believes the group “has the aptitude” to win this 12 months and says Iwasa has already confirmed he has the expertise required to problem for its first title since Jolyon Palmer claimed the GP2 crown in 2014.

DAMS final claimed the F2 groups’ title in 2019, courtesy of Sergio Sette Camara and Nicholas Latifi.

Pic, who made 39 grand prix begins F1 with Marussia and Caterham between 2012 and 2013, mentioned: “I feel we now have the aptitude, however we aren’t the one ones. There are three or 4 groups that may win the championship.

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“The extent of competitors will likely be very excessive, so we are going to see what number of factors we now have on the finish of the season.

“Ayumu has the expertise to do it and he proved it in 2022. However there are additionally 4 or 5 drivers who can battle for the championship this season.

“All the highest groups in 2023 have somebody who has the potential to compete for the title.

“We are going to strategy the 12 months race-by-race and goal to extract the utmost efficiency in order that we’re persistently up there.”

Ayumu Iwasa, Dams, leads Juan Manuel Correa, Van Amersfoort Racing

Picture by: Motorsport Images

Having taken over the group earlier than the 2022 season, Pic says he was not shocked by Iwasa’s success, with the Japanese driver scoring two wins and 6 podiums.

The 2020 French F4 champion was the second-highest positioned F2 rookie final 12 months behind newly-signed Williams Formulation 1 racer Logan Sargeant, and confirmed robust enchancment in the direction of the top of the season.

Requested whether or not he was shocked by something in 2022, Pic mentioned: “Not likely. Ayumu’s efficiency might need been a shock for outsiders, however inside the group we knew how good he was.

“We instantly felt his potential and knew very early within the season how a lot expertise he had, so we had been ready for his robust performances within the second half of the season.

“We wouldn’t have put him within the automotive if we didn’t assume it was the fitting selection, we had been assured he would piece all of it collectively.”

Iwasa will likely be joined by FIA Formulation 3 graduate Arthur Leclerc in 2023, who completed sixth with Prema final season after successful the Formulation Regional Asian Championship.

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Pic added: “The target for Arthur is for him to progress as rapidly as doable so he can compete on the entrance.

“He has the flexibility however there may be at all times an adaptation section in the beginning of anybody’s F2 profession, the place he’ll uncover the variations between F3 and F2 automobiles.

“Arthur and the group will work collectively to fast-track this studying interval, a bit like we did with Ayumu in 2022.”

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