Theo Pourchaire bounced back with second place in Formula 2’s Melbourne feature race after enduring a tough weekend in Saudi Arabia.
The ART Grand Prix driver didn’t score in Saturday’s sprint race after a strategy gamble that didn’t pay off, but returned to the podium on Sunday.
“Back on the podium and back in the points. It feels really good,” he said. “It’s amazing for the confidence for everyone in the team. And we had a really good pace as well all the weekend. So yeah, I’m very happy about but this one. First time in Australia, with big points at the end, so it’s been a pretty good weekend.”
Pourchaire finished the race in the same position he started it, but was briefly passed by team-mate Victor Martins at turn one.
“I had a bad start. Not a very, very bad start, but I had a bit of clutch spin at the beginning, and then a bit of wheelspin on the second part, which was difficult to manage. Then I tried to break really late, but my team-mate braked really, really late and he was off track.
“We were really close. I mean it’s dangerous situations between team-mates. But we did a good job, we didn’t crash, the team is happy, so it was all fine.”
The safety car was deployed at the end of lap eight of 33, when Pourchaire was among those who pitted to fit the prime tyres. When the race restarted, he had to deal with the traffic of cars on the alternate strategy, a situation where he said they “could lose a lot”.
“I was a bit stressed at that point because I wanted to overtake fast, but not do any mistakes.
“I mean it’s part of our job, it’s not easy because you need to manage everything, you need to manage your car, your tyres, the guys behind, but also the guys in front. So it was not an easy situation, but all good.”
Formula Scout also asked the Sauber junior how his car balance changed throughout the race, considering the low track temperature and the little rubber on the tarmac after Saturday’s rain.
“It changed a lot during the race because first I started on option tyres. So between option and prime tyres the balance is quite different, and also with the tyre degradation. We had also a bit of graining because it was cold, front-left tyre on the primes. So you need to adapt yourself,” he explained.
“It’s not easy, but we have the brake balance to adjust that, a bit of our driving and there wasn’t any big, big tyre degradation today. It’s more a bit of rear tyres overheating. So the rear is sliding a bit [at the] exit of slow speed corners a bit. As I said, the front graining on the primes, which gives you a bit of understeer in the corner. So it’s not easy, but I adapted quite easy.”