ART Grand Prix duo Theo Pourchaire and Christian Lundgaard have explained how they turned P7 and P19 in qualifying into a double podium in Formula 2’s first Monza sprint race.
Pourchaire started fourth on the grid in the partial reversed-grid race, while Lundgaard started back in 19th in a stop-start race marred by several safety car interventions.
While Pourchaire’s pace was not initially strong, he was able to charge through the field later on and opened up a sizeable gap to Virtuosi Racing’s Guanyu Zhou behind.
Alpine junior Lundgaard, meanwhile, was able to come from the back to take the final podium spot.
The two team-mates offered differing opinions on the reasoning behind their upturn in from qualifying when asked by Formula Scout in the post-race press conference.
“I think from the start of the weekend we were one of the fastest teams,” Pourchaire believed. “My team-mate in quali did a purple sector two which is the only sector where you don’t have any slipstream. He was in front of everyone which is why he didn’t have any slipstream in P19.
“And me, I tried to have a slipstream in quali which was not so good and I did P7 but I think we were really, really fast from yesterday. So, no I think we were confident, all the debrief with the team, we were extremely confident, and we knew that we had the pace to do that. For me, it was just showing that in the race. In quali, we did some mistakes.”
Lundgaard meanwhile, believed there was more than just outright pace behind his podium result.
“Yeah, I think it’s a bit of a yes and no,” he responded. “Yes, if the car’s strong, we might have a bit of a different opinion. Starting P4 and P19 might make a bit of a difference in our opinions.
“But the car was strong, I don’t think we were the strongest, I also know we weren’t running the exact same [setup] today due to the starting position and let’s say the odds [from there].
“The car was good today, but I do also feel that for me the key was staying out of trouble because you see so many cars having to retire or box just to fix some damage and just by staying clean, I maybe gained seven or eight positions from that.
“And then I would have already been in the top 10 where I would have needed to be [for reversed grid positions]. So, it’s a bit difficult to say. The car was good, yes, but I think there was more to find.”