The FIA Formula 2 Championship approaches its halfway point at Silverstone, which hosts Round 7 of the 14-round season.
Seven drivers have won F2 races in 2022, the first two being Trident’s Richard Verschoor and ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire, who both won at Bahrain.
We asked the pair whether their victories in the opening round made them feel any additional pressure for the rest of the year.
Pourchaire took victory in the Feature Race at Bahrain after an oil leak forced him to retire from the Sprint.
However, he lost the championship lead to Felipe Drugovich in Saudi Arabia, where he suffered an accident in Practice and mechanical failures in both Qualifying and the Feature Race.
Touted by many as the pre-season title favourite, Pourchaire has now fallen 49 points behind Drugovich, despite taking another Feature Race win at Imola and a second-place finish in the Monaco Feature Race.
Pourchaire mentioned throughout the press conference and in his response to InsideF2 that he had been struggling with the pressure of his own expectations this season. Still, he did not think the opening-round victory made it more intense.
“I don’t think my pressure comes from winning this race. For sure, I knew that the people put me as a title contender, which is great for myself. But the pressure comes only from my dreams.
“I need to change a bit, and the mental aspect in that sport is so important. In every sport, I think, and even in life, it’s really important.
“So I have a lot of focus on that because […] I know I am capable of doing great things, but actually I need to work on the mental aspect.”
Verschoor’s 2022 season began with a win in the Sprint Race at Bahrain. The Trident driver followed that up with fifth and second in the two races at Jeddah before enduring a three-round scoreless streak.
After crashing out of third in the Sprint Race at Baku, Verschoor finally returned to the points with a spectacular recovery from last to fifth in the Feature Race the following day.
Verschoor said that the opening-round victory actually released some of the pressure he might have felt after switching to Trident for the 2022 season.
“I think it takes off pressure because, especially for me, I was with a new team, and then to win the first race straight away took off lots of pressure.
“I wanted to do well, and then you win the first race, and then that pressure’s gone and you know you can do it,” Verschoor explained.
“And then in Jeddah, we had a great weekend. So for me, it takes off pressure.”
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