Pourchaire “disconnected brain” in Monaco F2 qualifying

Theo Pourchaire says he “disconnected his brain” in order to set a blistering lap in Monaco qualifying to become the youngest-ever Formula 2 polesitter.

Pourchaire “disconnected brain” in Monaco F2 qualifying

The 17-year-old was untouchable in qualifying at the challenging Monaco circuit, posting a 1m20.985s effort which was 0.4s faster than his nearest rival Robert Shwartzman.

It proved to be an emotional maiden F2 pole for the rookie Frenchman, making his Monaco debut, in only his fourth event in the championship.

The ART Grand Prix driver set a blistering pace to top his qualifying group but had to face an agonising wait for a record-breaking pole while the second of the split qualifying sessions played out.

However, reflecting on the achievement, the teenager admitted it was a special moment in his fledgling career.

“For sure I just disconnected my brain during three laps today,” said Pourchaire, a member of the Sauber junior team, after qualifying.

“I wasn't super confident during free practice this morning, so I wanted to start as much as possible on the front of the grid. So yeah, I pushed the limit of the car and it worked.

“I’m super happy, I just want to thank the team for sure, the car was amazing.

“They also did a great job, and I also want to thank my family, all the people, because it's my home race, they are there, I know they are watching me in real life this time. I also want to thank Sauber, I'm super happy to be on pole for the first time in F2.

“Monaco is very special. And yeah, it's my home race. I know it's not France, but I live just like 30 minutes away from here, so it means a lot to me.”

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Reacting to his record-breaking qualifying achievement, he added: “It means a bit, being the youngest polesitter is fine.

“It is not easy to be the youngest and I was almost the youngest in every category in my career.

“Now being on pole for what is my fourth F2 weekend but my second of the year at Monaco a new track for me, it means a lot, but now I need to fight with all the guys [in the races].”

While Pourchaire will start the all-important Saturday afternoon feature race from pole, he will have to start tomorrow’s opening sprint race from 10th courtesy of the new-for-2021 reverse grid weekend format.

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