Théo Pourchaire started his 2023 FIA Formula 2 season in style. Getting right back into the swing of things, the ART Grand Prix driver clocked in the fastest times of both the morning and afternoon running in pre-season testing.
The Frenchman quickly fell back into a rhythm, going quickest in the morning ahead of MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala. Pourchaire also left it late to claim the top spot in the afternoon, lapping at 1:42.165 in the final 10 minutes of running.
Quick out of the box for their installation laps in the midday heat, Jehan Daruvala got the Formula 2 action back underway around the Bahrain International Circuit.
Ralph Boschung became the first driver to put the first representative time on the board within the opening hour. His 1:45.652 put him over seven-tenths clear of new Campos Racing teammate and rookie Kush Maini.
It wasn’t until the final hour and a half of running that personal best times swiftly began to drop across the board. Daruvala set a 1:45.574 to put the #2 MP car on top before the only Red Flag of the of the morning came out for Rodin Carlin’s Zane Maloney.
Pourchaire emerged out front in the final 30 minutes of running with a 1:45.226, putting him 0.348s clear of Daruvala. The pair remained in that order all the way to the chequered flag. Meanwhile, Oliver Bearman kept himself busy, logging in 37 laps behind the wheel of the PREMA Racing car.
In contrast to their earlier running, Van Amersfoort Racing’s Richard Verschoor wasted no time posting a representative time on the board, going fastest with a 1:46.083 inside the opening five minutes, ahead of Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan.
As the sun set on the Sakhir circuit, times continued to tumble. Enzo Fittipaldi and Zane Maloney momentarily led a Rodin Carlin 1-2, before Trident’s Clément Novalak and Verschoor shuffled the Bajan driver down the timing sheets.
Dennis Hauger took control just over midway through the session, becoming the first driver to break into the 1:44s. He was briefly leapfrogged by his teammate Daruvala before regaining the top spot with a time of 1:44.249.
After one Red Flag stoppage in the final hour for Frederik Vesti, six drivers traded the fastest lap honours. However, it was morning pace-setter Pourchaire who headed the field, going over a tenth clear of Verschoor.
Late personal bests also saw Arthur Leclerc and Ayumu Iwasa secure spots in the top five, while Ralph Boschung found the pace to split the DAMS pair in fourth.
The second day of pre-season testing will begin at 11:45 local time on Wednesday.
2023 FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP – SAKHIR PRE-SEASON TEST, DAY 1, MORNING SESSION
|1||Théo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1:45.226||19|
|2||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1:45.574||23|
|3||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1:45.652||27|
|4||Enzo Fittipaldi||Rodin Carlin||1:45.816||20|
|6||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1:45.908||20|
|7||Zane Maloney||Rodin Carlin||1:45.908||18|
|9||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1:46.089||20|
|10||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1:46.131||20|
|11||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:46.217||14|
|12||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:46.266||20|
|14||Roy Nissany||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:46.441||17|
|15||Oliver Bearman||PREMA Racing||1:46.785||37|
|17||Brad Benavides||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:47.085||21|
|18||Isack Hadjar||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:47.191||21|
|19||Jak Crawford||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:48.839||9|
|20||Frederik Vesti||PREMA Racing||2:06.514||25|
|21||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||2:19.430||20|
|22||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||2:22.448||12|
2023 FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP – SAKHIR PRE-SEASON TEST, DAY 1, AFTERNOON SESSION
|1||Théo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1:42.165||35|
|2||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:42.293||29|
|4||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1:42.569||28|
|6||Enzo Fittipaldi||Rodin Carlin||1:42.739||27|
|7||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||1:42.753||39|
|8||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1:42.766||25|
|9||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1:42.782||25|
|10||Isack Hadjar||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:42.987||21|
|11||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1:43.046||32|
|13||Jak Crawford||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:43.105||31|
|14||Oliver Bearman||PREMA Racing||1:43.232||27|
|15||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:43.372||28|
|16||Zane Maloney||Rodin Carlin||1:43.402||27|
|18||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||1:44.165||28|
|19||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1:44.328||27|
|20||Roy Nissany||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:44.888||25|
|21||Frederik Vesti||PREMA Racing||1:45.251||25|
|22||Brad Benavides||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:45.769||31|