ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire became Formula 2’s youngest ever polesitter and youngest ever race winner, in Round 2, making history around the famous streets of Monte Carlo.
The Frenchman takes control of this week’s guest column to pen his thoughts on a successful debut in Monaco. Departing Round 2 third in the Drivers’ Championship, Pourchaire re-lives the highs of his pole position and Feature Race win, shares a story from inside of the ART truck, and looks ahead to Round 3 in Baku.
ONE GOOD POINT – TAKING POLE IN MONACO!
Choosing only one good point is difficult! I would say the pole position because it was only my second session on the streets of Monaco, so to take pole was amazing. It is not an easy thing to get pole and I really struggled a bit in Quali, so I am proud of that lap.
I put everything together on that lap and it was a really, really good lap. I enjoyed driving around Monaco a lot, taking risks… It was amazing to drive around in an F2 car with more than 600 Horsepower. It was incredible, really incredible.
ONE BAD POINT – MY FIRST WET RACE IN F2
This weekend was really good in general, but I would say maybe the second Sprint Race in the wet conditions was more difficult. There weren’t really any bad points, but if I had to choose one, it would be this. We struggled a bit with the setup, with the tyre pressure.
We weren't in the full wet setup compared to some of the other drivers, and we struggled a bit. I also struggled a bit at the beginning of the race because it was my first time with the F2 car in wet conditions and it was in Monaco, so that was not easy to adapt to.
The car is really powerful, so as soon as you go on the throttle, the wheels are spinning. It is really difficult. It is not really a bad point, but we always can be better. It wasn’t the best race of my career.
WHAT I LEARNED – MONACO IS VERY SPECIAL
I learned a lot. It was my first time at the front of the grid in F2 and it was not easy to be under that pressure. I made zero mistakes this weekend though, and I think I was really good and I’m very proud of that. It feels like I really made a step forward from Bahrain.
The three days of testing that we did in Barcelona helped me a lot. I learned a lot of things there, and I put those things to work in the Monaco race weekend and I think it paid off. I learned that I have the speed to get pole as well, and that Monaco is very special.
The next race weekend will be a completely different weekend, but I know I can fight for good positions, for top three, top five in the championship, although it will be really tight. There are a lot of good drivers, but I know I can do it.
FANS MAY HAVE MISSED - ADDING MY PICTURE TO THE ART TRUCK
The team will be laughing if they read this article... They told me that if I won a Feature Race, especially during the Monaco weekend, then I would get my picture up inside of the truck. It is the same for Christian Lundgaard as well.
In the ART Truck, you have pictures of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Stoffel Vandoorne, George Russell, Nico Hülkenberg as well. A lot of good drivers won for ART, and the team said that if we win a Feature Race, then we would get our picture up there beside the others. Maybe now it’s time to put my picture in the ART truck! But we will see…
NEXT TIME OUT - BAKU
It is going to be a completely different story because the track is totally different to Monaco. It is a city track again. I don’t know it, not a lot of drivers will, not in F2, because the last race there was in 2019, so maybe Guanyu Zhou, Ralph Boschung, Jack Aitken, Roy Nissany, but not too many.
It is going to be really tough, with only 45 minutes of Free Practice. Like in Monaco, we will have to adapt really fast to the track. One thing is sure: there will be a lot of overtaking and that is great for the people watching the races.
Quali will not be as important in Baku as it was in Monaco. You can recover from a bad Qualifying in Baku and you can maybe win races from the back of the grid, so that will be really interesting. Three races in Baku will be really great event.
À bientôt, Theo