Theo Pourchaire leaves Baku leading the Formula 2 drivers’ championship after he finished third in the feature race.
The ART Grand Prix driver led one lap and ran in virtual second place for most of the race. However, he couldn’t avoid being overtaken by Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi, who had started just ahead of him, with five laps to go as a set-up gamble resulted in him struggling with his tyres in the closing laps.
“The first few laps were really, really good,” the Sauber junior affirmed. “I had a not so good start, but I kept my position and after that I was feeling really confident on the brakes and had a good grip, so I could take the lead of the race. I think I was in the lead for only one lap, unfortunately, but that’s still one lap.
“After that, we pitted I think two laps later than Enzo, which was a good thing to do because we had a bigger gap in the pit exit. So I could do a safer out-lap as well to warm the tyres, to not take so much risks.
“Then after that, I tried to push a lot but I had some issues with the rear tyres. We tried something with the team, with the setup, that was a bit different than my team-mate. I wanted that set-up and I think it worked pretty well, but it was not very, very good. Towards the end I was sliding a lot.
“P3 is nice,” he said to conclude his race summary.
The results of the weekend placed Pourchaire as the new championship leader, three points ahead of Prema’s Frederik Vesti. The Frenchman acknowledged that he is “in a lot better position than last year” to fight for the title, not only because of the amount of points he has scored in the first four rounds compared to his rivals, but for his current form.
“In qualifying, I’m better. In the races, I’m more consistent. It’s a great thing to be leading the championship, but it’s really, really early.
“You know, better to be P1 than to be really far in the championship. We have a lot of work to do if we want to keep that position. I’m not superstitious a lot, but I think Felipe [Drugovich] finished P3 here last year in the feature race, so hopefully I have the same destiny.”