Théo Pourchaire, wearing an Alfa Romeo team shirt and crossing his arms, faces the camera and smiles. An Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen logo is on the wall to his right, and Alfa Romeo team sponsor logos blend into the background behind him.

Pourchaire still doesn’t know what he’s doing in 2023: ‘It’s a bit strange’

Two days after the Formula 1 and Formula 2 seasons concluded, Frenchman Théo Pourchaire completed 106 laps for Alfa Romeo Racing at Formula 1’s post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit. This wasn’t Pourchaire’s first taste of F1 machinery with the Swiss side; he also completed Free Practice 1 for the team at the United States Grand Prix.

By Jakub Czekalski

In February 2019, Sauber, which operates Alfa Romeo’s F1 team, signed Pourchaire to their driver academy, at the time integrated with feeder series team Charouz Racing System. Pourchaire competed for the Sauber-backed US Racing squad in the ADAC F4 Championship, which he ultimately won by seven points.

Pourchaire was the sole driver Sauber kept on board as they restructured their academy for 2020. With their backing, the French driver took second in FIA F3 in 2020, fifth in F2 in 2021 and second behind champion Felipe Drugovich in his sophomore F2 season this year.

An ecstatic Pourchaire appeared on this week’s F1 Feeder Series Podcast, though he was coy about his 2023 racing plans.

“I can’t say a lot for sure. At the moment, nothing is sure. It’s a bit strange because in the past, I always knew what I was doing the next year really early,” he said. “Now, I didn’t sign anything [in other series], just talking a lot with Sauber Academy to be sure to take a good decision.” F1 Feeder Series’ latest information suggests that Pourchaire is set to stay in F2 with his current team, ART Grand Prix.

At the moment, nothing is sure. It’s a bit strange because in the past, I always knew what I was doing the next year really early

Théo Pourchaire on his 2023 racing plans

The Frenchman did, however, shed light on his F1 plans for 2023. “I will live in Switzerland next year. I will be the reserve driver for Alfa Romeo,” he said.

In addition to his preparations with Alfa Romeo, Pourchaire was also in contact with engineers from Ferrari, who provide power units to Alfa Romeo, ahead of his test.

“I did a lot of work already with the engineers. I did seat checks,” Pourchaire said on the F1 Feeder Series Podcast the night before the test. “Tomorrow, I will also do some practice starts for the first time in F1. It’s very complicated to understand the procedure and to do it well, so we went through that. I was with the engineers from Ferrari because they wanted to explain some things on the engine.”

Pourchaire was quick to thank Alfa Romeo for the opportunity to drive the Alfa Romeo C42 alongside race driver Valtteri Bottas in the post-season test. “He’s a good reference,” Pourchaire said of Bottas. “I will have to learn a lot and will be able to learn a lot, which is good, from a grand prix winner.”

Watch the whole podcast here:

Header photo credit: Alfa Romeo Racing


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