Theo Pourchaire was 0.745 seconds slower than team-mate Victor Martins in Formula 2’s Jeddah qualifying, but he was still satisfied with his position after lacking confidence in practice.
The ART Grand Prix duo qualified first and third, with championship leader Pourchaire 0.001s off second place. In practice he had been 1.326s off the pace down in 17th and admitted he didn’t feel at one with the car.
“I’m very happy with P3 because I was very far [off] this morning in free practice, and at the beginning of the session I was not feeling very confident,” he confessed. “But for sure it’s a bit of a little frustrations to be P3 by such a small margin.”
“But I’m happy for the team first, congrats to Victor for his first pole. We have the two first poles of the season in the team, so it’s amazing, they did a great job.
“I have a good place for the rest of the weekend for both races, so this gives me a lot of confidence and I will try to give my best and to score a lot of points.”
Pouchaire’s previous visits to Jeddah haven’t been fruitful, having scored just once from five races there. In 2021, he crashed out of race one and was hit from behind by Enzo Fittipaldi after stalling on the grid in race three. Last year, a practice accident compromised his weekend.
“This morning I was trying to not put the car in the wall, because in Jeddah I’ve had a few crashes. And this, it’s not good for the confidence. And on a track where you need to be fully, fully, I mean to trust the car you need to be really close to the walls, you need to accept that the car is moving quite a lot between the walls. It was not easy.
“I just tried to push a lot more in quali, which I did. I think I could have been maybe P2, a bit closer to Victor, but I did some mistakes on my first push, and the second push there was red flag, unfortunately. I’m not so disappointed. P3 is a very good starting position and to be in the top three in quali is always good.”
Formula Scout asked Pourchaire about his qualifying strategy, which had helped build up his confidence even if being “not sure” what approach was ideal for the shortened second run meant he was still far from contending for pole.
“We did quite a lot of laps for a qualifying session. There was two red flags, unfortunately, but we were going for at least three push [laps] on the first set and another two push on the second set. So we had quite a lot of fuel, which is good because after the first red flag we went back on track and it was good for me. I could try again some new lines and push a bit more.”