Home Featured The title-fighting former F2 team-mates who want an on-track rivalry

The title-fighting former F2 team-mates who want an on-track rivalry

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Frederik Vesti and Theo Pourchaire currently occupy the top two places in the Formula 2 standings, but have scarcely fought each other on track. Both want that to change.

Prema driver Vesti leads by 11 points after 12 races, with three wins and a second place to his name. ART Grand Prix’s Pourchaire won at the season opener, and has since made the podium four times but non-scored four times too.

They faced each other on track for just three laps over the first four rounds, then in the Monaco sprint race Vesti spent 19 laps of green flag action filling Pourchaire’s mirrors. Vesti led Pourchaire home to win the feature race the next day, but once Pourchaire had got into second place he was several seconds behind Vesti and did not close that gap.

That meant the only other time they reached each other was in the final three laps of the Barcelona sprint race, which Vesti also won and Pourchaire finished second in after gaining two spots on a late safety car restart, and then one lap in the feature where Vesti passed Pourchaire and immediately pulled away.

“I want to win. I want to win so bad. But it’s not easy,” said Pourchaire ahead of this weekend’s round at the Red Bull Ring.

“It’s F2, the level is incredibly high and my team-mate [Victor Martins] is driving very well. Fred is leading the championship. He won in Barcelona, he won in Monaco. So I need to focus on the details and I’m sure we can win again this season.”

Vesti followed up with: “I said I think during last year and also the beginning of this year, we would like to fight a lot with Theo. Last year we were team-mates [at ART GP], we were not so close on track. We didn’t have so many fights, as I remember. But I want to fight good drivers and for sure I’m expecting some good battles.”

After that, he added “I’m looking forward to the fight [with Pourchaire] and I’m up for it”.

Pourchaire was in agreement, saying: “I think Fred is the only guy I didn’t see on the track yet. Only Barcelona I was close to him. We’d like to race with him and it’s going to happen tomorrow and Sunday.”

The pair started eighth and ninth on the reversed grid for Saturday’s sprint race, with Pourchaire ahead, and they fought briefly at turn one on lap one and then at turn three on lap five. Vesti starts second for today’s feature race, with Pourchaire just behind in third.

“I know Fred from last year, he was my team-mate. And I know his driving style a bit and how he behaves on the track,” Pourchaire teased. “So I try to learn that for each driver I’m fighting, and I think everyone is doing the same basically. It’s just learning how the drivers are working.”