Théo Pourchaire may have only just returned from injury, after suffering a fractured wrist in the Feature Race at Baku, but that didn’t stop the Frenchman from “pushing like a crazy guy” in the first Sprint Race at Silverstone.
A less-than-ideal start saw him lose two places early on, but the ART Grand Prix racer recovered to reclaim both spots and finish in fifth, one place higher than where he started, following Roy Nissany’s retirement.
Explaining the difficult getaway, Pourchaire pinned the problems on his lack of involvement in Free Practice, having crashed out from the session right at the start.
“I didn't get to make any practice starts in Free Practice, so it was really difficult to judge the start and make it good,” said Pourchaire. “I lost two positions and then turns 3 and 4 were a bit of a mess.
“But I overtook two cars and after that, I remained in P5 for the race. It is good to be back in the points, although I expected a bit more, but when you’re behind a car, it’s really difficult to overtake at Silverstone. I need to get a better start to reach the podium positions.”
It also didn’t help that the Frenchman was unable to train in the lead-up to the event as he normally would, due to the injury.
“It affected my preparation a lot, not just physically but mentally too because I didn’t know if I would be able to drive and that was really difficult,” said Pourchaire. “I was unable to play any sports. All I could do was a little bit of cardio.
“That is making this weekend quite physically tough for me, but I am really, really happy to be back and I will give everything, even if my arm isn't perfect.”
Pourchaire admitted to still feeling a “little bit of pain” in his wrist during the first race and said that his focus will be on protecting it ahead of both the second Sprint - when he will start from P6 on the reverse grid - and the Feature Race on Sunday.
Still, the Frenchman didn’t feel that the injury affected his driving, explaining that he was actually left wanting more from the race. Instead, he felt that the biggest restricting factor was tyre degradation.
“I was pushing like a crazy guy,” continued Pourchaire. “I wanted to overtake Felipe, but it was basically impossible, even with DRS. In the fast corners here, it is so difficult to follow.
“Tyre degradation is back at Silverstone. In Monaco and Baku, we didn’t really have that much deg, but here you can notice it. The front left was struggling in the fast corners because there are a lot of right-handers here, so the front left was dead.
“Overall, I am happy with how it has gone so far. It was difficult to come back from an injury, but the most important thing for me is to score a good bunch of points.”