Monaco F2: Pourchaire beats Shwartzman to feature race pole

Formula 2 rookie Theo Pourchaire blitzed qualifying with a stunning lap to secure pole position for the feature race at Monaco.

Monaco F2: Pourchaire beats Shwartzman to feature race pole

The ART Grand Prix driver proved the star of the show posting a 1m20.985s which was unable to be matched by his rivals, claiming four championship points in the process.

As in previous seasons, F2 elected to split qualifying into two 16 minute sessions to help ease traffic flow on the tight and twisty Monaco street circuit. Each group consisted of 11 cars with even numbered entries in Group A first on track, while odd numbered cars were in the final Group B session.

Effectively the qualifying groups decide odd and even numbered positions on the grid with the order dependent on which group provides the fastest overall time.

As Pourchaire’s time came from Group A, the Frenchman will start Saturday afternoon’s feature race from pole ahead of Prema Racing’s Robert Shwartzman who topped Group B.

Oscar Piastri was third fastest and will share the second row with Carlin’s Dan Ticktum, ahead of Juri Vips in fifth and Ralph Boschung sixth.

The top 10 was rounded out by Roy Nissany, Christian Lundgaard, Felipe Drugovich and championship leader Guanyu Zhou.

Zhou will however inherit pole for Friday’s first sprint race courtesy of the reverse top 10 of the qualifying results.

Qualifying Group A

Pourchaire fired in a blistering final lap to top the Group A qualifying session.

The teenager posted a 1m20.985s effort which was a four tenths faster than Piastri, while Hitech Grand Prix’s Vips was third despite hitting the barrier and bending his steering in the closing stages.

Nissany was fourth for DAMS ahead of UNI Virtuosi’s Felipe Drugovich in fifth with Jehan Daruvala in sixth.

Bent Viscaal set the first real indicative time before the Trident man was beaten by Gianluca Petecof with a 1m26.008s in his repaired Campos Racing entry after a spectacular engine failure in the earlier practice session.

Nissany was next to threaten the top of the times but he was quickly deposed by Piastri and Pourchaire, the latter posting a 1m22.843s.

The order changed moments later when Vips went three tenths faster to surge to the top ahead of Drugovich.

Nissany responded on his next run but Pourchaire eclipsed that to move back to the head of the field.

However, in the final moments Pourchaire showed his class to further improve on his effort to lead Piastri and Vips.

Qualifying Group B

Shwartzman topped the times in Group B but it was not enough to eclipse the fastest time overall set by Pourchaire.

It wasn’t until the second half of the session that the field began to fire in any meaningful times.

First to do so was Ticktum who posted a 1m23.390s which was more than two seconds shy of the pace set by Pourchaire in Group A.

Zhou managed a time a second quicker on his first run as he headed Boschung, Lundgaard, Armstrong and Shwartzman as Ticktum dropped to sixth.

Ticktum responded but was eclipsed by Shwartzman although the pace was still well adrift of Pourchaire.

In the end, Shwartzman ended up fastest in the group from Ticktum, Boschung, Lundgaard and Zhou.

The first of two 30-lap F2 sprint races is scheduled for Friday at 1045 BST.

Monaco F2 - Qualifying Group A results

Monaco F2 - Qualifying Group B results

shares
comments

Related video

Monaco F2: Shwartzman fastest in interrupted practice session

Previous article

Monaco F2: Shwartzman fastest in interrupted practice session

Next article

F2 and F3 to focus on cost saving drive instead of driver scholarships

F2 and F3 to focus on cost saving drive instead of driver scholarships
Load comments
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Plus

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books Plus

The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers Plus

The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers

Formula 2 used to be about more than providing a stepping stone to F1. For three decades it often provided another setting for the world’s best to fight it out. Autosport picks out the very best races

FIA F2
May 16, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Plus

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Plus

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance Plus

How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021

FIA F2
Jan 9, 2021
The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make Plus

The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make

The Ferrari Driver Academy earned a podium sweep in the first Formula 2 race of the new decade in Austria last weekend. The battle between 'the FDA five' is set to be one of the major subplots of the season, but who has the best F1 prospects for 2021?

FIA F2
Jul 8, 2020