English article by Giulianna Faliero. Original Italian version by Sara Ruffoni
A fight to the last lap. We held our breath until the chequered flag, when we saw Théo Pourchaire win the drivers’ title of the seventh Formula 2 championship. In a season where it was not easy to predict the winner, it was the ART Grand Prix driver who came out on top.
It was a dream that never seemed to want to come true for the Frenchman. Last season there was little hope for him against Felipe Drugovich, who continued to dominate the category. Pourchaire, however, never gave up, remaining a contender for the drivers’ title until the penultimate race. But, apparently, it was not his time yet.
“It was not an easy season last year,” says the newly crowned champion, “I still finished the championship in P2, but I wanted to win it this year. I have been working really hard since this winter.“
Let’s look back at the season that just ended.
The title fight starts in Bahrain
After the mega season finale of 2021, when Oscar Piastri was crowned champion, once again we come to the final round to determine the winner of the Formula 2 title. And this time it is two former teammates that are fighting for the championship: Frederik Vesti and Théo Pourchaire.
“It was very nice,” says Vesti, “I remember that last year I hoped to have a chance to fight with him when we were teammates. Still, on weekends when I was doing well, he was behind and vice versa.“
This year they were almost inseparable in the drivers’ standings. In the beginning it was the Prema Racing driver who had to chase Pourchaire. In fact the Frenchman had a spectacular start to the season. Since the Monaco Grand Prix, however, they switched roles.
More than once they found themselves sharing the podium, although the on-track battles between them were not many. Vesti comments: “This year we haven’t had any big battles, but of course in the title fight we continue to switch. It is very tight, I almost feel that every time I am on the podium, Théo is right behind me.“
The last rounds of the season
In the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the two swapped places again and Pourchaire was back in the championship lead. At the next round at Zandvoort nothing changed, with both drivers bringing home a DNF in the Feature Race and zero or few points in the Sprint Race.
At Monza, however, Théo Pourchaire extended his championship lead. The win in the Sprint Race was not enough for Vesti and his DNF on Sunday weighed heavily on the standings. Pourchaire’s third place in the Feature Race therefore allowed him to come into the last round of the season with an advantage of 25 points.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
In Abu Dhabi both drivers were aware that they had to give their best. Unfortunately, however, as we have often witnessed during this season, neither of them managed to get the best result out of their cars and abilities. Vesti qualified in ninth while Pourchaire, after a problem with his single-seater and a few mistakes on his part, grabbed a miserable fourteenth place.
Saturday’s Sprint Race was won by a magnificent Frederik Vesti and gave him new hope for the drivers’ title. During the Feature Race the Dane did it all in order to gain enough points to win, leaving everyone breathless until the very last corner. He seemed to have a chance when Pourchaire was investigated, but the penalty never came. The race ended with Vesti in third position and the French driver in fifth.
Théo Pourchaire achieved his dream: he is the new Formula 2 champion!
What better way to end this than with his own words…
“To be honest, I am so proud of myself, so proud of my team, so proud of everybody that worked with me that helped me to achieve this goal. I mean I am the new Formula 2 Champion; it is crazy to say it, it’s unbelievable.”