Theo Pourchaire ‘pretty sure’ even F2 title wouldn’t earned him an F1 promotion

Michelle Foster
Theo Pourchaire testing for Alfa Romeo. Budapest, August 2021.

Theo Pourchaire testing for Alfa Romeo in 2021. Budapest, August 2021.

Yet to confirm his 2023 racing plans beyond being Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver, Theo Pourchaire reckons even if he’d won this year’s Formula 2 title he still wouldn’t have found a spot on the 2023 F1 grid.

Sauber protégé Pourchaire was second in the 2022 Formula 2 series, taking three race wins and scoring 164 points, holding off Liam Lawson and Logan Sargeant despite a disappointing final weekend in Abu Dhabi where he failed to score a single point.

But while Sargeant is on his way to Formula 1, confirmed by Williams as Nicholas Latifi’s replacement, Pourchaire lost out when Alfa Romeo made the call to stick with Zhou Guanyu for a second season.

While it was suggested at the beginning of the year that Zhou was keeping the seat warm for Pourchaire, the Chinese rookie had a solid debut campaign whereas Pourchaire, despite finishing P2, fell short of expectations as he struggled in qualifying and was 101 points behind F2 champ Felipe Drugovich.

The 19-year-old told Motorsport.com: “To be honest, even if I’d won the championship, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be in F1 in 2023.

“Because of many things, and that’s the sports nowadays, it’s like this, it’s built like this. So I’m okay with that.

“I understand that I’m still young, and I’m ready to work on myself and to build myself to be ready to grab a seat in 2024. My dream is to be a Formula 1 driver, Formula 1 world champion.

“The rest, I’m not really interested in doing, I’m not really interested in being a GT driver, Formula E driver or other things.

“I mean, if I cannot get to F1, maybe I will drive those cars, those championships, but my dream at the moment is to be in F1, that’s it.”

He will continue with Alfa Romeo next season, already confirmed as the team’s official reserve driver.

That means more FP1 sessions, Pourchaire having driven the C42 during the Friday practice at the United States Grand Prix.

“The FP1 outing was amazing,” he said, “it’s unbelievable. F1 cars are really fast. Being on the Formula 1 weekend with all the other drivers on the track, it feels amazing.

“That track is amazing, Austin is unbelievable, I love this track now. I only did 15 laps on it, but I would love to drive again there.

“It was very good for me, because I will do a lot of simulator work with Sauber next year, with Alfa Romeo, so it’s important to know how the car behaves in reality, how it works in reality, so I can correlate a lot on the simulator, which is good to help the team because there is a good gain of performance there.

“The team is already in good shape, we did some good upgrades on the car, so next year can be a really good year for the team.

“So let’s see, we will work hard, and I will move there to Zurich, next to Hinwil, where Sauber is based and I will work with them.”

The driver also revealed that while he had ruled out a third season in Formula 2, it is now an option.

“We were talking about this with the Sauber Academy a few days ago,” he said.

“It’s an option because Formula 2 is, in my opinion, the best championship after Formula 1.

“We are on the same weekends as the Formula 1 teams, we are watched by every Formula 1 team.

“I am still very young. I am capable of winning this championship for sure, at least I will give my best if I do this for another year, I don’t know yet.

“Let’s see how it goes in the talks for my future. But if I have a good contract, a good option, why not do a third season in F2?”

Read more: Fred Vasseur’s dig at Horner as he looks forward to spending Alfa Romeo’s ‘five times nothing’