Pourchaire secures pole for F2 opener
Theo Pourchaire dominates F2 qualifying in Bahrain, securing pole position by a huge margin of 0.751 seconds ahead of Victor Martins. Boschung drops to P10.
Theo Pourchaire secured a commanding pole position for the first Formula 2 Feature Race of the season on Sunday by recording the quickest lap time during qualifying in Bahrain.
The individual who finished in second place in the previous season’s championship was in the lead from the beginning to the end of the 30-minute session, thereby making a strong statement ahead of the upcoming season.
Even though the initial attempt of the driver from Sauber Academy was sufficient to keep him in the top position, Pourchaire managed to further enhance his performance during the final runs and claimed the first pole position of the 2023 season with an astonishingly large gap of 0.751 seconds.
Victor Martins, a new entrant, put up an impressive performance during his debut F2 qualifying and secured the second position, thereby maintaining a gap of the same margin behind Pourchaire. This resulted in an ART 1-2 finish under the lights.
At the beginning of the session, all 20 drivers immediately set out on the track and needed two warm-up laps to increase the temperature of their tires and brakes to an optimal level.
Ralph Boschung, who had returned to the race, was the first driver to record a competitive lap time, and he stayed in the lead with a time of 1:42.010s, while other drivers started posting their lap times one after the other.
Pourchaire, who had already set the fastest lap in the sole practice session, dominated all three sectors and surpassed Boschung’s previous best time by 0.480 seconds. The driver from Campos was three-tenths ahead of Dennis Hauger, who was in the third position.
When the drivers cooled their tires and attempted another push lap, many of them found it challenging to improve their lap times.
However, despite the difficulties, the rookie pair comprising Victor Martins and Arthur Leclerc were able to improve their positions, and by the halfway point of the session, they occupied the third and fourth positions in the order, respectively.
As the track conditions continued to improve, lap times began to decrease rapidly. Nevertheless, no driver was able to come close to Pourchaire’s blistering lap from the initial runs.
As Boschung was unable to set a new personal best time, several drivers were able to surpass him on the timesheets, and as a result, he eventually slipped down from the provisional front row to the tenth position.
Richard Verschoor put up an impressive performance to secure the third position for Van Amersfoort Racing, whereas Hauger claimed the fourth position for the defending champions, MP Motorsport.
In the meantime, Frederik Vesti, a Mercedes junior driver, finished in the fifth position, while Kush Maini secured the sixth position in his debut F2 qualifying session. The two DAMS drivers followed suit, with Ayumu Iwasa narrowly out-qualifying his rookie teammate, Leclerc, after making a slow start to the session.
Roman Stanek and Boschung finished in the ninth and tenth positions, respectively, with Boschung taking some comfort in securing a position at the front of the grid for tomorrow’s shorter Sprint event.
Despite having secured pole position well before his final run, Pourchaire continued to push himself and recorded a stunning lap time that was six-tenths faster than his previous fastest lap. His ART teammate, Martins, followed him closely and finished in the second position on the front row, but he was still 0.751 seconds slower than Pourchaire.
On the other hand, Jack Doohan, who was one of the in-form drivers during the latter stages of the previous year, opted for a different strategy by utilizing a clear track. This strategy initially worked in his favor, and he was able to climb up to the fourth position. However, as other drivers took advantage of the better track conditions towards the end of the session, he eventually ended up in a hugely disappointing 17th position when the chequered flag dropped.
The results of the qualifying session are as follows:
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps 1 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 1m40.903s 11 2 Victor Martins ART GP 1m41.654s +0.751s 11 3 Richard Verschoor VAR 1m41.803s +0.900s 12 4 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m41.831s +0.928s 11 5 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m41.897s +0.994s 12 6 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m43.927s +1.024s 8 7 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m41.934s +1.031s 12 8 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m41.973s +1.070s 11 9 Roman Stanek Trident 1m43.988s +1.085s 12 10 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m42.010s +1.107s 10 11 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m42.017s +1.114s 12 12 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m42.026s +1.123s 12 13 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m42.049s +1.146s 13 14 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m42.092s +1.189s 12 15 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi 1m42.092s +1.189s 11 16 Juan Manuel Correa VAR 1m42.109s +1.206s 12 17 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m42.112s +1.209s 10 18 Zane Maoloney Carlin 1m42.185s +1.282s 11 19 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m42.234s +1.331s 11 20 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz 1m42.493s +1.590s 12 21 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz 1m42.502s +1.599s 12 22 Clement Novalak Trident 1m42.570s +1.667s 10
- MORE FORMULA 2!
- The 2023 F2 season is going to be exciting to watch with high-level drivers
- Victor Martins will race for ART in Formula 2
- Pourchaire wins Bahrain FIA F2 Feature Race
- F2: THÉO POURCHAIRE JOINS HWA FOR THE END OF THE SEASON IN BAHRAIN
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Pourchaire pole F2 opener Pourchaire pole F2 opener Pourchaire pole F2 opener
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