Home Featured Pourchaire leads F2 field on day one of pre-season testing at Bahrain

Pourchaire leads F2 field on day one of pre-season testing at Bahrain

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire ended the first day of Formula 2 pre-season testing as the fastest driver, topping both Tuesday sessions at Bahrain.

He was fastest by 0.128 seconds over Van Amersfoort Racing’s Richard Verschoor, who set the pace at the start of the afternoon session ahead of Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan and PHM Racing by Charouz’s Roy Nissany.

Verschoor was on top for most of the first 25 minutes of the two-and-a-half hour session before Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi set a 1m45.661s lap to take over in first place.

He improved to 1m45.124s at the half-hour mark, with Trident’s Roman Stanek and Clement Novalak then taking turns in second place.

Verschoor returned to second after 44 minutes, just 0.049s off Fittipaldi. Hitech GP’s Isack Hadjar ventured on track at that point, and went fifth fastest, leaving Prema’s Ollie Bearman as the only driver yet to do a lap.

Juan Manuel Correa put the second of VAR’s cars into third place after 55 minutes, then MP Motorsport pair Dennis Hauger and Jehan Daruvala went on track and lowered the pace into the 1m44s as Bearman headed out for the first time at the end of hour one.

DAMS was the next team to go on a qualifying-focused run, and second place was then disputed by Ayumu Iwasa and Arthur Leclerc behind Hauger at the session’s halfway point.

Daruvala went one hundredth of a second faster than his team-mate a few minutes later to take first place, but Hauger immediately responded and went fastest by 0.331s.

Pourchaire and team-mate Victor Martins were at the very bottom of the timesheet as the session went into its final hour, which was disrupted by a red flag stoppage that appeared to be caused by Prema’s Frederik Vesti.

Drivers were quick to get back on track when the session resumed, and Iwasa and Daruvala both improved in second and third. Pourchaire jumped from 21st from to third with 35 minutes left on the clock, but was later shuffled down to fourth as Daruvala and Hauger massively lowered the pace. Daruvala set a 1m42.766s, and Hauger posted a 1m43.108s while everyone else was still in the 1m44s.

That changed in the final 18 minutes, with Novalak going second then Fittipaldi usurping Daruvala with a 1m42.739s lap.

Martins went from last to 11th with 12 minutes remaining, as Leclerc then Verschoor went fastest. Pourchaire’s session-topping lap came with five minutes to go, while his team-mate dropped down to 19th as others improved.

Afternoon session results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 1m42.165s 35
2 Richard Verschoor VAR 1m42.293s +0.128s 29
3 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m42.471s +0.306s 33
4 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m42.569s +0.404s 28
5 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m42.669s +0.504s 25
6 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m42.739s +0.574s 27
7 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m42.753s +0.588s 39
8 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m42.766s +0.601s 25
9 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m42.782s +0.617s 25
10 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m42.987s +0.822s 21
11 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m43.046s +0.881s 32
12 Clement Novalak Trident 1m43.071s +0.906s 29
13 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m43.105s +0.940s 31
14 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m43.232s +1.067s 27
15 Juan Manuel Correa VAR 1m43.372s +1.207s 28
16 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m43.402s +1.237s 27
17 Roman Stanek Trident 1m43.490s +1.325s 32
18 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi 1m44.165s +2.000s 28
19 Victor Martins ART GP 1m44.328s +2.163s 27
20 Roy Nissany PHM Racing by Charouz 1m44.888s +2.723s 25
21 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m45.251s +3.086s 25
22 Brad Benavides PHM Racing by Charouz 1m45.769s +3.604s 31