Becoming the youngest winner in the history of Formula 2 with a Feature Race victory at Monaco, Théo Pourchaire has enjoyed a thrilling rookie campaign so far, despite his season being hampered by an injury to his arm. Currently sitting sixth in the standings, how would he grade his own performances?
Turning 18 today, the birthday boy fills out his mid-season report card…
NAME: Théo Pourchaire TEAM: ART Grand Prix AGE: 18 PODIUMS: 1 WINS: 1
RATING OUT OF 10: 7
“This is a difficult one as it is hard to judge yourself. If I am thinking only about my Qualifying performances and the Monaco race weekend, then I would say nine out of 10, but I am realistic and I know I have made some mistakes, we have also had some mechanical failures and there have been some accidents. As well as the injury to my arm that compromised my preparation for Silverstone.
“Taking everything into account, I would say a good seven out of 10. The Championship position, P6, doesn’t mean a lot because my performances have been better than that. I feel like they deserve a top five position. I know that, but I need to prove it and have more race weekends like I did in Monaco. I am sure that I can do that - a good seven isn’t bad.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SEASON SO FAR?
“The season has been pretty good for me so far. I became the youngest ever polesitter and then the youngest ever winner in Monaco, which was amazing. It has been a great season so far, albeit with a lot of problems and also some mistakes from my side.
“We have to improve ourselves if we want to fight for the title, but I am pretty happy with our race pace and qualifying pace, I am a solid top five finisher. I am P6 in the Championship right now, but with all of the mistakes and mechanical failures. We have had so many problems, so I think that we can expect something really good from the second half of the season.”
WHAT HAS BEEN THE STRONGEST ASPECT OF YOUR SEASON SO FAR?
“My Qualifying pace has been much better than it was in F3 last year. I am in the top five almost every time. We had pole position in Monaco, P4 in Baku, P5 in Silverstone - and that was without doing any laps in Free Practice.”
WHAT HAS BEEN THE WEAKEST ASPECT OF THE SEASON SO FAR?
“Race starts. I made some really bad starts in Silverstone. That is not only because of me, though. It is also a team problem, and it is something that we are looking at and managing.
“We are aware of the problem, and you can be sure that we will improve this before the next race in Monza. We will work all summer on it, you can be sure of that. Then hopefully we can have better starts in Monza. Race starts in F2 are so important and that has been my weakest point so far.”
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT THIS SEASON?
“I have learned that the F2 championship is really, really cool… But also, really, really competitive. I am P6 in the Championship, but if I have one good weekend, then I can be in the top two. Or if I have one bad weekend, then I can be outside of the top 10. It is so competitive, and you have to be so consistent.
“The championship is really good this year and the level is really, really high. This can only help me to grow as a driver and as a person. This is the most competitive championship of my career so far.”
WHY ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON?
“I am looking forward to the new tracks and I am looking forward to having a great second half of the season. Maybe I can even earn myself a place in the top category of this sport, in Formula 1. I am 100% concentrated on F2 right now though. I am really happy to be able to drive in F2 and I want to take this great opportunity.”