He had several reasons to rage the young and talented Théo Pourchaire at the start of the F2 long race as part of the French GP. First, the Grassois raced almost at home at Le Castellet. Then, he had been deprived of the sprint podium the day before when he had reached the finish in 3rd position. Alas, Pourchaire (ART Grand Prix) had been hit with a severe five-second penalty after forcing Marcus Armstrong off the track. He felt that it was a nice overtaking from the inside. This penalty pushed him back to 7th place…
This may have given him a little more motivation for this Sunday. Starting on soft tyres, he was unfortunately crushed at the start and saw the door blocked by his teammate at ART, the Dane Frederik Vesti. But the French driver, who is knocking on the doors of F1, then led a very good race with his tense trajectories. He returned to the pits early, on lap 10, to put on hard tyres. He was then going to take advantage of Logan Sargeant’s problem in the pits, which did not come out of it.
A skirmish with Doohan managed with great composure
On lap 15, Pourchaire overtook his teammate Vesti, who came out of the pits with his tires cold, and was then virtually in 2nd place taking into account the future stops of the cars in front of him. The Japanese Ayumu Iwasa led the race with 4 seconds ahead of the Grassois. Pourchaire was then threatened by Jack Doohan who was going to take him off the track on the 19th lap. Doohan then spun without consequence while Théo Pourchaire found himself obliged to cut the chicane with great composure.
From now on, it was his teammate Fred Vesti whom he had to keep at a distance because, in front, Ayumu Iwasa, remained out of reach on his French single-seater DAMS. But Pourchaire, 18 years old, held his wheel firmly and took a fine 2nd place while Iwasa won his first victory in F2. Vesti fended off Felipe Drugovich so that three French cars were on the podium.
Pourchaire therefore ended his weekend in style as the stands at Le Castellet waved a swarm of blue, white and red flags… On arrival, he even sang a Marseillaise in front of the French supporters in the company of members of the French team DAMS. In the World Championship standings, Théo Pourchaire now occupies second place behind the Brazilian Drugovich.