RACE DEBRIEF

    Sauber Academy star Theo Pourchaire marked his maiden appearance at Monaco with a first pole position in Formula 2. Becoming the second tier’s youngest ever polesitter, Pourchaire set 1m20.985s to beat Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman by nearly half a second in qualifying.

    F2 qualifying is split into two groups of 16 minutes each in Monaco, with Group A made up of even-numbered cars and taking to the track first. Pourchaire – who’d labelled Monte Carlo as a home race ahead of the weekend – was part of that group.

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    The ART Grand Prix racer said he only lives around 45 minutes from the historic street circuit, but had never actually raced there before. Not that you’d have known, the Frenchman beating Oscar Piastri – who will start P3 in Saturday afternoon's Feature Race – by 0.458s.

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    Pole position qualifier Theo Pourchaire of France and ART Grand Prix, second place qualifier Robert Shwartzman of Russia and Prema Racing and third place qualifier Oscar Piastri of Australia and Prema Racing talk in a press conference after qualifying in F2 at Monaco

    Despite knowledge of the time to beat, and slightly greater track evolution, Shwartzman wasn’t able to better the ART Grand Prix driver’s time in the second group. Taking first ahead of Dan Ticktum, the PREMA driver was still 0.418s off Pourchaire and will start from second.

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    Finishing 10th overall, Alpine Academy’s Guanyu Zhou will start from reverse grid pole in Sprint Race 1 on Friday at 1145 local time.

    Qualifying set the grid for Saturday afternoon's Feature Race that takes place at 1715 local time, while the grid for Race 2 at 0820 on Saturday will be set by reversing the top 10 finishers of Sprint Race 1.

    For more on F2, visit the official F2 website.