The only Frenchman entered in Formula 2 this year, and a rookie as well, Théo Pourchaire took a sensational pole position for Race 3, on Thursday, and could well be leading the pack for Sainte Dévote, Saturday at 17:15. In a beautiful manner, in his very last qualifying lap, by clocking a superb 1: 20. 985 which then revealed to be untouchable by the drivers involved in the second qualifying session.
The ART Grand Prix driver was rather discreet in free practice, in order to properly learn the Monegasque circuit on which he had never raced. This cautious bit of training paid off and he was half a second ahead of Australian Oscar Piastri (Prema Racing) and Russian Juri Vips (Hitech GP).
FIA Formula 3 runner-up last year, for a handful of points, Théo from Grasse, the perfume city, only had to wait for the result of the other session, led until two minutes from the end by Chinese Guanyu Zhou (Uni-Virtuosi), the championship leader after the opening of the F2 season in Bahrain. Until Russia’s Robert Shwartzman (Prema Racing), who had set the best time in free practice and finished 4th of the series last year, with 4 wins, achieved his best lap in 1: 21.403, just ahead of Briton Dan Ticktum (Carlin) that he had already beaten this morning in free practice.
This is the first pole position for 17-year-old Pourchaire in Formula 2, after an 8th and 6th place in Bahrain at the start of the season. A real feat for this absolute “rookie”, a member of the Sauber Drivers Academy. French fans will surely follow him closely during the three F2 races scheduled for this weekend in the streets of the Principality. Starting tomorrow at noon …