Championship hopeful Théo Pourchaire is enjoying his third season in FIA Formula 2, and he believes his previous seasons are helping him in the 2023 title fight.
The ART driver spoke to insideF2 after his P2 finish in the Barcelona Sprint Race, where late overtakes propelled him from P4 to a podium finish in just four corners.
When asked if the Pourchaire from two years ago would have achieved the same result or if it’s a result of learning, the Frenchman was honest about his progress.
“It’s definitely a result of learning. Most of the time, I remain calm and play it safe. I like to take my time. Now, with a bit more experience – I’m still quite young, but I have gained more experience in F2 – I have learned many things. I made mistakes in the past, and those mistakes are helping me today. It’s not a completely new Theo Pourchaire. I strive to improve myself with each race and each year.”
That experience also helped Pourchaire with critical tire warm-up after his pit stop, as he knew how much energy to put into the slick tires on the drying track.
“In those conditions, warming up for an additional lap is crucial. But I did an excellent job on the out lap. I pushed hard. I intentionally tried to wear out the tires because they were not performing well. I pushed aggressively, and despite the sliding, it was necessary to warm up the tires under those conditions. It benefited me greatly. At the restart, I could brake late and maintain speed, allowing me to overtake two cars.”
The only driver Pourchaire couldn’t pass was his former ART teammate and 2023 championship contender, Frederik Vesti. Pourchaire was realistic about his chances of overtaking and reaching P1, believing that access to DRS would have been the key factor.
“Fred is leading the championship, and in terms of performance, we are very close to each other. It’s challenging to overtake on this track. I think it would have been possible if the race director had enabled DRS. I understand that, due to safety reasons, they didn’t activate it in those conditions. However, as the track dried, I would have attempted something with the assistance of DRS.”
Given Pourchaire’s significant progress in the race, we asked if it was one of the best Sprint Races in his F2 career.
“Absolutely! There was Bahrain this year, starting from P10, and we finished P5. It was a fantastic race. I pushed hard and made some impressive moves at the beginning.
[This race] It was truly tough because starting from P9 in wet conditions, we had a pit stop to make, and I couldn’t afford any mistakes. Actually, I had an issue with the car after the contact on Lap 1.
I didn’t mention it before, but something broke or the suspension got bent; I’m not entirely sure. After the contact, the car had significant understeer throughout the race, and I had to turn the steering wheel a lot.
It wasn’t a major problem, but following other cars became challenging due to the excessive understeer. It wasn’t ideal.”
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited