Formula 2

Formula 2: Pourchaire takes blistering pole in Monaco qualifying

Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter

ART’s Theo Pourchaire claimed pole position for Saturday’s FIA Formula 2 feature race with a stunning lap in qualifying at Monaco.

The 17-year-old, who was runner-up FIA Formula 3 last year, lapped nearly half a second faster than anybody else to become the series’ youngest ever polesitter in a revised qualifying format introduced specifically for the streets of Monte Carlo.

Drivers were split into two groups of 11, with each group taking part in a 16-minute session. Pourchaire and Prema’s Robert Shwartzman topped a session each to secure front-row starting spots for the feature race, with Pourchaire’s faster lap time ensuring he will start at the front.

Championship leader Guanyu Zhou will start on pole for Friday’s opening sprint race, having been fifth fastest in the slower group, the grid formed by reversing the top ten positions from qualifying.

Group A

Gianluca Petecof – who suffered a spectacular engine failure in Thursday morning’s free practice session – topped the timesheets for Campos at the halfway mark in Group A’s session. But with lap times four seconds slower than in practice, there was plenty of room for improvement as drivers went out for a second run on fresh tyres.

Roy Nissany lowered the benchmark significantly for DAMS, before brief spells at the top for Pourchaire, Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich and Hitech’s Juri Vips.

As times continued to tumble, Nissany reclaimed first place, before his time was bettered again by Pourchaire by 0.5s. Vips then lapped just 0.044s faster to move back on top, before Pourchaire found a further half-second with a time of 1m20.985s, which would prove unbeatable. ART’s Oscar Piastri went second fastest with a late lap, Vips having to settle for third after damaging his steering against the barriers.

Group B

Pourchaire faced a wait to see if his time was good enough for pole, with the Group B runners taking the circuit.

Trident’s Marino Sato topped the times at the halfway mark, with runners in the second group also being very conservative on their first runs. 

Zhou was the first to set a representative time on his second run, the Virtuosi driver setting a time of 1m22.306s. Carlin’s Dan Ticktum improved the benchmark by 0.3s, before being displaced at the top by Shwartzman  Ticktum responded by lapping a further 0.3s faster, but it was Shwartzman who ended up on top with a late lap of 1m21.403s, albeit well shy of Pourchaire’s effort from the first group.

HWA’s Alessio Deledda failed to qualify, having missed the 107% lap time cut, but officials have allowed him to take part in this weekend’s three races.

Qualifying result

1 Theo Pourchaire ART

2 Robert Shwartzman Prema

3 Oscar Piastri Prema

4 Dan Ticktum Carlin

5 Juri Vips Hitech 

6 Ralph Boschung Campos

7 Roy Nissany DAMS

8 Christian Lundgaard ART

9 Felipe Drugovich Virtuosi

10 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi

11 Jehan Daruvala Carlin

12 Liam Lawson Hitech

13 David Beckmann Charouz

14 Marcus Armstrong DAMS

15 Bent Viscaal Trident

16 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport

17 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport

18 Marino Sato Trident

19 Gianluca Petecof Campos

20 Guilherme Samaia Charouz

21 Jack Aitken HWA

22 Alessio Deledda HWA


Featured image credit: @formula2 official twitter


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