Rival F1 teams ‘watching’ Alfa Romeo-linked junior as crucial driver decision looms

Sam Cooper
2023 cars practicing a start. Bahrain February 2023

2023 cars practicing a start including Haas Williams McLaren Alfa Romeo. Bahrain February 2023

Alfa Romeo academy driver Theo Pourchaire has revealed he has Formula 1 teams “watching me” as he continues to perform well in F2.

The Frenchman leads the way in F1’s top feeder series and is 12 points ahead of Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti with three grands prix left to go.

Naturally for any F2 driver, they are looking for the step up to Formula 1 and Pourchaire has revealed he is on the radar of a few teams.

Theo Pourchaire hints at possible Alfa Romeo move in order to get F1 seat

Pourchaire is serving as Alfa test and reserve driver this year and has been a member of the Sauber academy since 2019, meaning a move to the team seems the most likely destination.

But he may find his progress in the immediate future blocked with Valtteri Bottas contracted until 2025 and Zhou Guanyu seemingly having done enough to earn an extension to his deal.

At 20 years of age, Pourchaire has time on his side but may have opened the door to a possible move away from the Swiss team.

“It’s great because it helps for my future, even the Formula 1 teams are watching me,” Porchaire of his young age as per Motorsport.nextgen-auto.

“Of course, it’s my third season in F2, but I’m still only 19. I’ll be 20 in August, which makes me the seventh youngest on the grid.

“I would say it’s like I’m not really a driver in my third F2 season, I’m just young.”

But is it not unusual for F1 drivers to spend little time in F2 before making the switch with McLaren driver Oscar Piatri having spent a single season there, which he won, while Max Verstappen went straight from F3 to Formula 1.

Pourchaire was realistic about his lack of experience compared to others in the F2 paddock and admitted “a lot” of them deserve to drive in F1.

“I don’t have as much experience as other drivers who have done three seasons in F2.

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“This year I feel good in the car and I’m still improving, I’m still improving with ART Grand Prix and with Alfa Romeo F1 as reserve driver. I learned a lot from them, and that’s good.”

“As I said, there are only good drivers in this area and a lot of those drivers deserve to drive in F1.

“They drive at a high level and they push for it. So I have to stay focused and work hard, even though I’m younger than the others.”

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