To launch his third season in Formula 2, Théo Pourchaire crushed the main race this Sunday on the Sakhir circuit after disgusting the competition during qualifying.
Théo Pourchaire did not come back to do extras. Having initially announced that he did not want to do a third season in Formula 2 after being runner-up behind Felipe Drugovich last year, the reserve driver for Alfa Romeo is openly aiming for the title in the antechamber of Formula 1. The first weekend of the season, organized on the Sakhir circuit, allowed the native of Grasse to confirm his claims. After making his mark during the free practice session, the driver of the ART Grand Prix team left the competition at a safe distance during qualifying.
Victor Martins, Formula 3 champion last season and teammate of Théo Pourchaire for his debut at the top level, was his closest pursuer at… 751 thousandths of a second. A gap simply never seen in the category. Inverted grid obliges, the French driver started from 10th place this Saturday during the sprint race. After a solid performance throughout the 23 laps, Théo Pourchaire was able to climb back to fifth place in a race dominated by the Swiss Ralph Boschung. The Habs were however able to take five precious points in the championship but also that of the fastest lap in the race. But all the efforts of the weekend were destined to shine this Sunday in the main race, contested over 32 laps with a mandatory pit stop.
Simply unstoppable 💪@TPourchaire dominated the Feature Race and set his 2023 title campaign on the perfect start 🔥#BahrainGP #F2 pic.twitter.com/MvZf9J7tV2
— Formula 2 (@Formula2) March 5, 2023
Untouchable chase in the main race
If his good start was hampered by an early intervention of the safety car, caused by several accidents, one of which put an end to the hopes of Victor Martins, he perfectly mastered Ralph Boschung’s offensive, who tried to leave with soft tires against hard ones for the Frenchman. If he was able to distance himself from the pilots launched on the same strategy as him, Théo Pourchaire did not take any risk and opted for the soft tires from the 12th lap. A wheel lock having probably precipitated the passage to the pits. Once Ralph Boschung made his tire change, the Sauber driver took control of the race and continued to widen the gap.
At the end of the 32 laps, it was almost 20 seconds ahead of his runner-up that the Grassois won this race, like last year. Having accumulated a total of 32 points over the weekend, Théo Pourchaire leaves Bahrain at the top of the championship with four lengths ahead of Ralph Boschung and 17 over Barbadian Zane Maloney, a defector from F3 within the Red Bull sector. , third this Sunday. An almost perfect start to the season that Théo Pourchaire will have to confirm in two weeks in Jeddaha circuit that did not succeed last year.