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F2’s Pourchaire: Monza was ‘huge’ for the championship but ‘we haven’t won anything yet’

Théo Pourchaire continues to lead the Formula 2 Championship after outscoring title rival Frederik Vesti over the Italian Grand Prix weekend

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The Italian Grand Prix weekend for Formula 2 saw Théo Pourchaire extend his championship lead to 25 points over Frederik Vesti. After his Feature Race podium, Pourchaire spoke to media, including FormulaNerds, about the weekend and the championship. 

F2 Pourchaire, Bearman, Iwasa Monza
Race winner Oliver Bearman, Second placed Ayumu Iwasa, Third placed Theo Pourchaire and Loup Bran Licata, Performance Engineer at PREMA Racing celebrate on the podium during the Monza Feature race. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

2023 is Théo Pourchaire’s third season competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. The Frenchman has had some strong campaigns in the series, finishing runner up to Felipe Drugovich in 2022.

Now, Pourchaire is a title contender and currently leading the 2023 championship. With one round left – Abu Dhabi in November – Pourchaire has gained a 25-points advantage over Frederik Vesti.

Across the Italian Grand Prix weekend, Pourchaire was able to extend the points gap to Vesti. The ART Grand Prix driver achieved pole position in Friday’s Qualifying, making it his first pole since Bahrain.

Vesti won the Sprint Race, which closed the gap to only nine points between the former teammates, but Pourchaire finished on the podium in the Feature Race whilst Vesti retired. Oliver Bearman won the Feature Race ahead of Ayumu Iwasa and Pourchaire, but Vesti was forced to DNF the race after a collision with Roman Stanek.

With Vesti out of the race, it was key for Pourchaire to score some good points, which is exactly what he did. And after the weekend’s action, Pourchaire spoke to accredited media, including FormulaNerds. The Frenchman spoke about the championship as well as his performance over the weekend.

‘A huge day for the championship’

Speaking to the media, Pourchaire reflected on the Feature Race. Asked whether he was thinking about the championship or not during the race, he said:

“For sure, I was thinking about this a lot, especially when my engineer told me that Vesti was out of the race after lap one. I took a decent start. After that, the slipstream effect was quite huge, so I tried to defend into the second chicane but lost the position.

“I was P2 basically all the race. It was a good race, bit too much understeer on my car, which means that after each safety car restart, I was struggling quite a lot.

“But overall, I’m pretty happy because it’s a huge day for the championship.”

Pourchaire continued saying that the safety cars proved a bit more challenging for him than others. The Frenchman explained saying that he struggled “each time”, especially with the “first two big braking zones and the first two chicanes” as he “was not confident.” However, Pourchaire did congratulate Iwasa, who overtook him towards the end of the race. He said:

“Also the last one, the last safety car restart, I knew Ayumu had the super-soft tyres. I tried everything and for sure on the first two corners, it was a lot better. But he did a great move too, so congrats to him.”

‘We haven’t won anything yet’

Despite having a comfortable lead over Vesti in the championship, Pourchaire is still focused on maximising results. In the post-race press conference, he reiterated to media that the championship isn’t over yet so there’s still work to be done.

Pourchaire said: “I’m happy to have the comfortable lead in the championship. I will workout, still workout, we haven’t won anything yet. But it’s as I said, a huge day for the championship so I’m happy.”

He then went on to reflect on the season noting his lack of race wins since Bahrain. Pourchaire told the media:

“I hope I’m fast enough to be champion. I’m leading the championship. I’ve done some great races.

“Unfortunately, for some reason, from Bahrain, I still didn’t win another race, but it will come for sure. It will come. Still one weekend to go.

“We did two pole positions and the level is really high this season and I’m happy with my job. I’m consistent. But it’s not finished so keep focused.”

There is a 12-week break until the final round of the 2023 F2 season. The season finale is in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

Headline image: GettyImages

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