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Pourchaire makes history with F2 pole in Monaco

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Theo Pourchaire became the youngest ever driver to take a Formula 2 pole as he topped the times on the streets of Monaco.

Qualifying was split into two groups to avoid congestion on the short circuit. ART Grand Prix driver Pourchaire was out in the first group and set a 1m20.985s lap late on.

Laptimes had dropped throughout the session as track conditions improved, and it was believed the second qualifying group would have the advantage. Despite the better conditions, nobody could come close to Pourchaire’s quickest lap, and Prema’s Robert Shwarzman’s topped the second group with a 1m21.403s lap that will put him second on the grid for Saturday’s feature race.

Prema’s Oscar Piastri will line up third on the grid, having gone second in the faster of the two qualifying groups. Carlin’s Dan Ticktum will start alongside.

Hitech GP driver Juri Vips briefly topped Group A and was starting his final flying lap when he clipped the wall and bent his steering. He brought out the yellow flags in the first sector as he tried to get going again, disrupting some drivers’ laps, but Pourchaire and Piastri had already passed the incident so continued unimpeded.

His earlier lap was enough to put him third in the group and fifth on the grid, ahead of Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung and DAMS’ Roy Nissany, who have both driven the track in F2 before, and Pourchaire’s team-mate Christian Lundgaard.

Another with prior experience is points leader Guanyu Zhou, and the Virtuosi Racing man picks up pole for the first sprint race of the weekend as a result of qualifying fifth in Group B. He will start the feature from 10th, with team-mate Felipe Drugovich one spot ahead in ninth.

Williams Formula 1 reserve driver Jack Aitken looks set to start from last place on his F2 return, as HWA Racelab team-mate Alessio Deledda failed to get within 107% of Shwartzman’s pace in their session and as a result will have to apply for permission to race.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Group A Group B Laps
1 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m20.985s 11
2 Robert Shwartzman Prema 1m21.403s 11
3 Oscar Piastri Prema 1m21.443s 11
4 Dan Ticktum Carlin 1m21.589s 11
5 Juri Vips Hitech GP 1m21.523s 9
6 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m21.854s 11
7 Roy Nissany DAMS 1m22.102s 11
8 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 1m21.877s 11
9 Felipe Drugovich Virtuosi 1m22.131s 10
10 Guanyu Zhou Virtuosi 1m21.912s 11
11 Jehan Daruvala Carlin 1m22.244s 11
12 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 1m21.941s 10
13 David Beckmann Charouz Racing System 1m22.585s 11
14 Marcus Armstrong DAMS 1m22.168s 11
15 Bent Viscaal Trident 1m22.827s 11
16 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 1m22.758s 11
17 Lirim Zendeli MP Motorsport 1m22.933s 10
18 Marino Sato Trident 1m24.091s 11
19 Gianluca Petecof Campos Racing 1m23.344s 10
20 Guilherme Samaia Charouz Racing System 1m24.302s 11
21 Jack Aitken HWA Racelab 1m23.353s 10
22 Alessio Deledda HWA Racelab 1m27.744s 10