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

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