Home Featured Pourchaire explains ninth-to-second charge in “mentally tough” race

Pourchaire explains ninth-to-second charge in “mentally tough” race

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Theo Pourchaire stood in second place on Formula 2’s Barcelona sprint race podium thanks to a late charge that rounded off a comeback from ninth on the grid.

He had been due to start sixth before getting a three-place grid penalty for impeding another driver in qualifying, and described to Formula Scout the race as being “very, very tough mentally” as he drove a car that was not in optimal shape around a track that was going from wet to dry.

“We started on the rain, we finished on the dry. To keep the car on the track without doing any mistake, it was tough,” he said.

“Also from lap one, turn five, I had contact with [Ayumu] Iwasa I think. He just turned on me, I couldn’t avoid him. And I think it broke something on the car, maybe not broke but bent the suspension. I don’t really know, but I had an issue. I had much more understeer and I needed to turn the steering wheel a lot.

“After that, I was a bit like disappointed the first few laps because the car was not feeling great, but I had a great pace still with the issue. So I kept going, I tried to put pressure on [Jack] Doohan. He did a little mistake, I overtook him and so on.

“In the end, the team did a really good call by pitting. They called me to the box and we changed the tyres at the right time. I could warm them a lot. The result, I did some great moves and I tried to catch [winner] Fred Vesti. But it’s tough to follow on this track, and the conditions, there was only one line, I couldn’t do something else.”

Pouchaire reckoned that had DRS been available, and if he was without understeer, he would have been a bigger victory threat.

“The DRS was not enabled. I understand it’s a tricky condition and for the safety, maybe it was better. But in the end, the main straight was dry and with DRS I would’ve probably overtaken him. Maybe not, but I would have tried.

“I’m really, really pleased with the P2 starting from P9. It’s great points, fastest lap, it’s one more point and every point counts this season because Fred is really consistent as well.”

Pourchaire also explained the two key moments of his comeback. 

“Very, very critical because I couldn’t see anything at the beginning,” he said of gaining three places on lap one. “Visibility is a very, very big factor in rain condition because you gain a lot of pace when you see clear and you can brake late, you have much more confidence and I couldn’t do that the first few laps and I had the issue, so critical to overtake very fast in the rain.”

On his charge from fourth to second after a late safety car restart, he added: “I pitted one lap earlier [before the safety car], but I did a great job [warming the tyres] on the outlap. I pushed a lot, which was a great thing to do. I had a lot of confidence in the car, so I could do those kind of things. I could push, I could be at the limit. I went for the move, turn one at the restart and turn four on Victor [Martins] around the outside. It was two great moves.”