Reliability woes trouble F2 drivers as Pourchaire retirement tips title fight

Formula 2

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Formula 2 leader Felipe Drugovich has revealed it was not just his main title rival Theo Pourchaire who encountered reliability problems in last Sunday’s Spa-Francorchamps feature race.

Pourchaire was forced to retire due to a technical problem with his ART-run car, while Drugovich finished second from pole position to extend his championship lead over the Sauber junior to 43 points.

However, MP Motorsport driver Drugovich revealed he also hit trouble with his car early on. “I don’t know if they showed [it] or something, but I had a pretty big issue on the formation lap,” he said.

“I had no power as well. For some reason, the engine needed a lap or something to clean up. I think still after the start, luckily I got a very good start, but still in the Kemmel straight I felt it wasn’t perfect.

“So from lap two on it was fine, but I was very scared and I was very worried.”

Despite increasing his lead due to his rival’s misfortune, Drugovich said: “I think it’s not nice to see so many cars breaking down and having issues but we drivers cannot do anything. Ee just have to cope with it.”

Drugovich was beaten to victory by Virtuosi Racing’s Alpine junior Jack Doohan, who also commented on the unreliability of F2’s cars.

“It’s not ideal as, in the end, at the end of the season or whether it be during the season, everyone looks at statistics, everyone looks at the results on the paper,” he said. “At the end of the year, unfortunately not many people remember a DNF for reliability issues or a mechanical failure.

“So it’s something you have to live with and keep your head up. Today, I didn’t want to mention it much, especially over the radio – for some reason in third gear I had low power and it wasn’t pulling. So I was either having to go to second [gear] or short shift to fourth.

“It was something that we thought I had to manage. I was a little bit worried, but I didn’t want to say anything over the radio to distress the engineers or anything because there’s not much you can really do except for crack on.

“So, I’m happy that it held on, but that’s just the era we are in. We are in mechanical cars and unfortunately these things can happen.”

Carlin’s Liam Lawson finished third behind the pair, and also revealed he had technical trouble.

“From my side, we had the same issue, I think a similar issue to Jack in qualifying,” said the Red Bull junior. “That’s why we were starting sixth and not further up.

“It’s frustrating to have them, and I think, like Jack said, you get to the end of the year and you look back and sort of calculate all the points that you missed and… definitely it changes your result a lot, but I guess it is what it is.”

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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8 comments on “Reliability woes trouble F2 drivers as Pourchaire retirement tips title fight”

  1. Pourchaire was totally heartbroken, not taking his helmet off for ages. Total dispair. I am a big fan. But you’ve got to hand it to Drugovich – he’s been impeccable this season. He deserves to win the title. In comparison, Pourchaire still has some improvements to make.

    1. @shimks Theo looked distrort, poor guy! F2 is as much about learning mental fortitude as anything else. F3 is full of kids with F2 being the transition to show you’re a complete package. Theo certainly has some talent though!

      And yeah, as much as I don’t want to admit it (Kiwi -> Liam fan), Drugovich has been superb. He never seems that fast like with Piastri or Leclerc, but he’s always there picking up big points, every weekend. Very solid season.

  2. @antznz If anything it proves that F2 is a joke run as a cash printing exercise by the competition owners, lets not forget that Jehan Daruvala didn’t even start the race due to mechanical problems. How can a its a spec series with spec parts and no development battles between teams not be reliable??

    It seems totally unacceptable to pay €3m a year for an F2 seat when you consider that Super formula in Japan is the same speed as F2 for less than 1/4 the cost. It feels like F2 is a just a FIA monopoly to gatekeep talent entering F1 to shake down drivers desperate for superlicence points to be eligible to race in F1.

    1. @ccpbioweapon definitely! I won’t argue this at all, much the same as F1 is on a cash grab with boring and inappropriate street circuits replacing poorer circuits that can’t afford to pay as much even if they produce far better racing and viewing.

      The reliability issues are possibly a result of squeezing as much cash out of F2 as possible…

  3. I’m barking at dead tree (if you understand what I mean) but if there is A Spec Serie everyone should have the same reliability..

  4. Dallara and F2 have known about these problems for years and still they keep happening.

  5. @antznz @ccpbioweapon @qeki Mark Tucker

    Interesting comments from all of you about reliability. Several drivers have complained about this but in a very polite I don’t mean to offend you, F2 CEO Bruno Michel, which possibly points to the power yielded behind the scenes regarding driver signings.

  6. @shimks F2 is effectively the only gateway to F1 at the moment, big potential to be milked and plenty of rich daddys out there..

    The racing is usually pretty good, I’m a fan of the series but reliably this year does seem worse than I can remember. I am being a bit cynical but I don’t think I’m exaggerating either, happy to apologize if anyone turns up some stats! I’ll still be watching every race this year.

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