Formula 1 Racing

Pourchaire given five-place grid penalty for feature race · RaceFans

Theo Pourchaire, ART, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023

Theo Pourchaire has been given a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Formula 2 feature race in Jeddah for crashing into Oliver Bearman in the sprint event.

The collision happened at turn one early in the race, which Pourchaire started from seventh. He was trying to pass his ART team mate Victor Martins for sixth, but misjudged his braking point and crashed into the side of Bearman’s Prema machine at the apex of the corner.

The stewards deemed Pourchaire “wholly responsible for the collision” which put him and Bearman out of the race. Pourchaire immediately went over to Bearman to apologise, but his rivals were unimpressed by his driving.

“Oh man, the guy is crazy. He was doing the same in Bahrain,” Bearman instantly said over team radio. Jack Doohan, who was watching from behind, called Pourchaire “a nutcase”.

Pourchaire later apologised for the collision on social media. “I’m sorry,” he wrote. “Mistakes happen, apologies to Ollie, Prema and my team ART GP.”

Martins, the reigning Formula 3 champion who was contesting his third race at this level, said his team mate should have exercised more restraint.

“I was going quite fast, I braked quite late, and then I stayed on the line and I saw Theo going really, really fast into Bearman,” Martins recalled.

“So I was like ‘that was a mistake’, because I was already going really, really fast and I was catching the others on the braking, and he came way too fast.

“I think he needs to stay a bit more calm, because we have a good pace and we can come back late in the race.”

Pourchaire, who started the season as the title favourite and arrived in Jeddah leading the championship, will now start the feature race in eighth. Doohan has been promoted to third behind Martins and Bearman on the front row.

Jehan Daruvala, Ayumu Iwasa, Frederik Vesti and Kush Maini all move up as a result of Pourchaire’s penalty. The ART driver will line up on the eighth row and has also had two penalty points added to his licence.

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