Thoughts from Pourchaire, Bearman and Stanek

FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to our top three qualifiers for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at Monza. In third place, Roman Stanek for Trident. In second place, Oliver Bearman for PREMA Racing and our pole sitter, Théo Pourchaire for ART Grand Prix, Théo, many congratulations, your first pole since Bahrain. You were hooked up straight away, just talk us through the session.

Théo Pourchaire: Yeah it’s an amazing feeling to be back on pole, last time was in Bahrain and the first race of the year. Since this morning I was confident in the car. We have a great car so big thanks to the team, the performance was great. In Qualifying already on the first push I was in the top three and in the second one I had great slipstream and also I did a great lap. So super happy to be back on pole, it’s a crazy feeling. I love this track too so it’s very special.

FIA Formula 2: How important was the slipstream today?

Pourchaire: Very, very important. I think everyone saw. There was a lot of mess at the end but it’s Monza. We know that it’s like this every year. I’m happy to be on pole and I had a great position thanks to the team and my engineer. Super happy to be on pole.

FIA Formula 2: Now, this is the penultimate round of the Championship. We have a long break of course after this but can we talk about the Championship situation. You’re on pole, Frederik Vesti is starting in eighth. Both of you had very unfortunate races last weekend in Zandvoort, just how do you see the Championship now?

Pourchaire: It’s great to be on pole now. I’m also happy to bounce back from Zandvoort. It’s not finished yet. I’m ready for the races and I want to score big points, but it was a tough one in Zandvoort. I was more or less leading the race, but I did a small mistake, crashed the car and hurt myself a bit. All good now and to do pole position at the penultimate round is great, but it’s not finished. As I said, it’s only the beginning of the weekend and I want to do two great races.

FIA Formula 2: Théo, can I just pick you up on that. Tell us about your injuries, how much are you suffering when you’re in the car?

Pourchaire: Right now, and today, it was fine. Thankfully it’s Monza. It’s an easy track physically, there’s not a lot of corners. It’s a bit painful. It was very painful two or three days ago, but I did a lot of treatments and went to a special clinic in Monaco, I want to thank them as well. I went to them when I broke my radius in Baku in 2021, they helped me a lot and now they’re helping me a lot too. So, it’s teamwork and a big thanks to them. It’s not finished but I will keep pushing in the races and not think about my hand.

FIA Formula 2: Well, many congratulations to you, best of luck for the rest of the weekend. Oliver, coming to you now, many congratulations on P2, just how quick was your car today, was there more in it?

Oliver Bearman: Yeah, there was definitely more in it. We struggled a bit in FP this morning, but we made a good step for Qualifying so I’m happy to be back upfront. FP was a bit disappointing. For sure there was more in it but with a session like this I’m just happy to be up there because to be honest, anything can happen, so we managed to avoid most of the crazy moments and be up there.

FIA Formula 2: Can you talk to us about the second runs a bit? Théo was talking about the importance of a slipstream here, but many drivers didn’t cross the line, other drivers were tripping over each other. What was your strategy going into that final run?

Bearman: You can go without the slipstream but it’s not going to improve your laptime. The first run I was in a good position, for the second run I need a slipstream and so does everyone else. We left it to the last moment; everyone left it to the last moment and it I think it was inevitable. When we left the pits with two minutes to go it was clear that not everybody would make it and I started the lap half a second behind so of course, I didn’t improve.

FIA Formula 2: Let’s talk about the race. You finished second here last year in FIA Formula 3, what is the secret to a good race here and do you think you have a good car underneath you?

Bearman: First of all anything can happen, it’s Monza. It’s one of the easier tracks to overtake, so I’m excited for that starting from P9 tomorrow, we can do something from there. It’s obviously a long race and the DRS can play a huge effect, so you just need to be smart and play the long game.

FIA Formula 2: Ok, many congratulations to you. Roman, many congratulations to you as well. Sensational final lap. Just talk us through it.

Roman Stanek: Yeah, the Qualifying was a big mess I have to say but we were able to place myself in a good position, thanks to the team and thanks to Giacomo (Ricci) who is doing the traffic management very well. We finished third, it’s been a tough season and it’s good to be back here starting P3 on Sunday and also a good starting position for tomorrow. We can have some good fights so let’s start racing.

FIA Formula 2: Talk to us a little bit more about the car positioning for that final run. Did you have a tow and how did you work out the timing to the car in front?

Stanek: The team was telling me and counted me down. I was quite on the safe side. I don’t know about you guys, but they were quite tight. In the last corner I knew that I was safe, so I was able to manage the gap a bit with the car in front of me and it was good. There was definitely something more in that lap, I wasn’t able to improve or to extract the best out of the car but P3 is still a good starting point for Sunday.

FIA Formula 2: And Roman you said a minute ago it hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for you. Have you found something in the car this weekend or is it purely a confidence thing?

Stanek: I would say that we were very unlucky. Sometimes I was doing stupid mistakes that I think every rookie does. Sometimes we didn’t have the car to be up there so yeah, it’s definitely late to be in this position now in the Championship but let’s hope I can continue in this position.

FIA Formula 2: Best of luck for the rest of the weekend.