New-found confidence and knowledge proved to be crucial for Théo Pourchaire and Oscar Piastri, in only their second FIA Formula 2 Championship weekend.
Both rookie drivers managed to finish in the top three and out-class many of their more experienced rivals.
Pourchaire stormed his way to a maiden pole position by over four-tenths of a second, on his debut in Monte Carlo, having never raced at the circuit in any other series.
At only 17-years-old, he became the youngest pole-sitter in F2 or GP2 history. However, the ART driver admitted in the post-session press conference that he was not up to speed with his car, after Practice was interrupted by two red flags.
Pourchaire said: “It is really important to be confident. Monaco is not an easy track, if you do a mistake you are directly out. This morning I wasn’t confident in the car, did a lot of mistakes.
“The car was moving a lot and now I just push, I disconnected my brain and I think it worked.”
The Frenchman was not the only rookie to have a strong outing this afternoon, with Piastri making it two PREMAs in the top three for the Feature Race on Saturday after qualifying in third, just behind team mate Robert Shwartzman.
Piastri, who beat Pourchaire to become the FIA Formula 3 Champion last year, believes the post-Bahrain test in Barcelona was essential in helping him get to grips with the car before Round 2 in Monaco.
The Alpine Academy driver said: “For me personally, the Barcelona test was really important. It was crucial for trying to improve and develop the car and myself.
“The first two days were tough, but the final day we made a lot of good progress in both qualifying and race performance. I think having both Robert [Shwartzman] and I in the top three in qualifying shows that we’ve stepped up our qualifying pace, which was probably our weak area.”
Will we see a rookie on the top step of the podium on Saturday? Let us know
Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited