Match Point: Pourchaire & Vesti’s Roads to the Title

Match Point: Pourchaire & Vesti’s Roads to the Title

Vesti Pourchaire F2Match Point: Pourchaire & Vesti’s Roads to the Title

With only two more races in the 2023 FIA Formula 2 season, there still remains a crucial matter to decide as the sun sets in Abu Dhabi: who’ll claim the 2023 Formula 2 title?

The season started with 22 contenders, but now, we’re down to just two – Théo Pourchaire and Frederik Vesti.

Pourchaire heads into the Sprint Race with a 25 point lead over Vesti, but the story of Qualifying would suggest that the title is far from over – even with only 37 points left to claim.

The Frenchman’s usual stellar form was not showcased around Yas Marina, leaving him to qualify outside of the top 10 for the first time in 2023. To add to the blow of starting 14th for both races, Vesti managed to qualify 9th, securing a front row start for the Sprint Race, 12 places higher than where Pourchaire is set to start.

But how can each of them secure the title across the next two races? There is no simple answer, but the many possibilities are as follows:

Théo Pourchaire

He has the easiest path to the title, knowing that as long as he scores 13 points across the two races, there is no mathematical possibility of Vesti claiming the title.

Currently sitting on 191 points, Pourchaire can rest easy with the knowledge that if Vesti were to score maximum points, that would only leave him on 203 points, a total Pourchaire can easily surpass.

But alternatively, Pourchaire can win the title by out-racing Vesti directly, making sure he stays ahead on track wherever possible. And if this cannot happen, he can lose no more than 25 points to the Dane, otherwise his title hopes will slip away.

Either way, nothing can be won (or lost) in the Sprint Race, which gives Pourchaire double the opportunities to seal the deal.

Frederik Vesti

Vesti has a harder task. Since he is the chaser to the Formula 2 Title – a lead he relinquished after the Spa-Francochamps round in July. Lying on 166 points, he’ll have to try maximise his performance in Abu Dhabi to bring the challenge to Pourchaire, the current championship leader.

Vesti has the advantage in terms of grid position, a front row start for the Sprint Race yielding great potential to cut 11 points from the championship lead. But it is not all in his hands, Pourchaire ultimately holds control of the crown and if he scores enough points, Vesti’s challenge could all be in vain.

However, as we know in Formula 2, it’s not over until the chequered flag flies (and sometimes even after!), so Vesti has every chance to fight until the very end.

This, of course, doesn’t account for the involvement of other drivers such as Victor Martins and Jack Doohan. Starting from the front row, both drivers have their own races to run and points to prove. Doohan will be fighting for P3 in the championship and Martins for ‘Rookie Of The Year’, in addition to being Pourchaire’s team mate.

Whilst these fights transpire, they could result in vital points being taken from the main championship contenders, an additional factor to consider in the Abu Dhabi Showdown.

With the Sprint Race getting underway at 16:20 local time, and the Feature Race tomorrow at 13:15 local time, the showdown looms ever closer for Vesti and Pourchaire. But which one will emerge as champion? That remains yet to be seen.

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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