Theo Pourchaire Takes His Maiden F2 Pole in Monaco
Theo Pourchaire will start the Formula 2 Feature Race on Saturday from pole position after going quickest in group A of qualifying around the streets of Monte Carlo.
The challenge of Monaco was no problem for the ART Grand Prix driver, who dominated Thursday’s running. Despite cooler track conditions than those who qualified in the second half of the session in group B, The Frenchman posted a time of 1:20:985. Oscar Piastri will start in 3rd in the Feature race.
In a flurry of fastest laps at the end of group A qualifying, Pourchaire put in a dominating lap which was a far cry away from P11 in the first round of the season in Bahrain. Pourchaire threaded his car perfectly through the twists and turns of Monaco to come out on pole.
Joining the Frenchman on the front of the grid on Saturday will be Robert Schwartzman, who left the problems of Bahrain in his mirrors, putting in a time of 1:21:403 ahead of Dan Ticktum who qualified overall 4th.
The Group B qualifying session saw a trade-off of fastest laps between the drivers. Current championship leader Guanyu Zhou lost out in qualifying, he was 10th overall and Juri Vips in overall 5th. The Alpine and Red Bull junior drivers will be hoping to put in a solid performance in the first revered grid sprint race on Friday in which Zhou will start on Pole ahead of Felipe Drugovich.
To avoid traffic problems in Monaco, Qualifying was split into two groups. As decided before Free Practice, drivers who race with even numbers took part in the first sixteen-minute session (Group A) and those with odd numbers in the second sixteen-minute session (Group B). This does mean however that group B does often have a more rubbered in surface compared to group A.
The circuit around the streets of Monte Carlo is, traditionally, a difficult track for overtaking meaning that the results of today’s qualifying are crucial for the next three races. However, this year’s new format and the two partially reverse-grid sprint races will give more opportunities than ever before for drivers who did not qualify at the front of the grid to fight it out at the front.
You can watch the first FIA F2 sprint race of the weekend from 11:45am (Local Time) on Friday.