With six races to go in the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship, the battle for the championship is intensifying as the number of contenders steadily decreases.
Twelve drivers are still mathematically eligible for the title, but three drivers are within 39 points – the maximum available on an F2 weekend – of championship leader Théo Pourchaire on 168 points: Frederik Vesti on 156, Ayumu Iwasa on 134 and Jack Doohan on 130.
While other drivers, including Pourchaire’s ART Grand Prix teammate Victor Martins, still have one eye on the title, it is the primary goal for the leading four, who are all in at least their second seasons of F2.
At a virtual media roundtable on Thursday, InsideF2 asked Pourchaire and Doohan if they had any personal goals for the season aside from winning the title.
“Just leaving nothing on the table, really, and making sure I’m maximising my job and everything that’s in my control like we’ve been doing and like I look forward to continue doing,” Doohan said.
“In the end, that’s all we can do, me and the team, making sure that in all areas we’re on top of it. And if we have the pace, then we should do the job and execute it well, and that’s what I look forward to doing.
“And I’m hoping at the end of year, regardless of [whether we] win or not, we can look back on that and be happy.”
Pourchaire said of his goal, “[It’s] just to give my best and to have no regrets. That’s the most important. If I know that I did my best, I will be happy. That’s the most important thing.
“If I have issues on the car or if I – I don’t know – if someone crashes into me … I cannot control those things. I just want to have no regrets, give my best, and I’m sure we can finish strongly.”
InsideF2 also caught up with Pourchaire on Friday in the paddock after he finished 10th in a Qualifying session disrupted by three late red flags.
“It was a tough qualifying session because we had so many red flags, and the first run as well, I was blocked behind [Ollie] Bearman during the warm-up lap, couldn’t overtake him. It was impossible to warm the tyres, unfortunately.
“Still, P10, it’s not what we wanted, but considering all the red flags and [that] we were not lucky in this qualifying session… it’s okay. Starting P1 tomorrow, P10 in the feature race, it’s fine.”
For the Feature Race, Pourchaire is set to line up behind Vesti in third and Doohan in fifth but ahead of Iwasa in 12th.
“We cannot box under a safety car here, so for the strategy, it’s a bit more difficult. I cannot try something else.
“It will depend as well on the weather. I think it will rain, so this can help us if we have damp conditions. And also, you never know what can happen in front, if the other drivers can collide.
“[To] try to maximise everything, P10 is not so far. We know we have great pace, so that’s good.”
Image: Twitter @TPourchaire