Théo Pourchaire, the 2023 Formula 2 champion, recently expressed his disappointment at not securing a Formula 1 seat, despite feeling he deserved it. Pourchaire’s journey now takes him to Japan’s Super Formula and a reserve role at Sauber, reflecting a common trend among recent F2 champions.
- Continued Trend of Missed Promotions: Pourchaire joins Oscar Piastri and Felipe Drugovich as the latest Formula 2 champion to miss out on a direct Formula 1 seat, highlighting a recurring pattern of F2 champions assuming reserve roles instead of racing seats.
- A New Challenge in Super Formula: Despite his F1 setback, Pourchaire is optimistic about competing in Japan’s prestigious Super Formula series, valuing its competitiveness and the opportunity to race on the renowned Suzuka circuit.
- Dual Role with Sauber: Pourchaire is set to balance his racing commitments in Super Formula with his responsibilities as Sauber’s 2024 reserve driver, involving simulator work and potential participation in free practice sessions as he eyes a future in Formula 1.
Théo Pourchaire, after an impressive season clinching the 2023 Formula 2 championship, has been candid about his frustration over not moving up to Formula 1. This situation mirrors the experiences of his predecessors like Mick Schumacher, Oscar Piastri, and Felipe Drugovich. Despite achieving his goal of winning the championship under the Sauber Academy, Pourchaire’s next steps deviate from the F1 track. His statement to Motorsport.com underlines his disappointment and resolve:
“I am the third F2 Champion in a row who is not promoted to F1. Next year, unfortunately, I will not be on the F1 grid, which is obviously a little disappointing, because it’s a dream to be a Formula 1 driver. As F2 Champion, I think I deserved my place, but it is what it is. It’s not because you are titled in F2 that you are in F1, but frankly I am disappointed, because I am champion, I have achieved good results, I have done my best. The job I was given at the Sauber Academy was to win the championship, and I did that. That’s how it is, I’m just focusing on the future.”
Pourchaire’s aspirations now pivot to the Super Formula championship, where he has already started testing and acclimating to the new environment. He speaks highly of the Suzuka circuit and the overall experience in Japan, emphasizing the uniqueness and speed of the tracks:
“Super Formula is an excellent category. It was my first time in Japan this week: the people are amazing, it’s a different culture. The car is fast, the Suzuka circuit is crazy, it goes so fast. I spoke with some F1 drivers before going there, and everyone told me that Suzuka was an incredible circuit. It’s clearly one of the most beautiful circuits in the world. The Super Formula at Suzuka is an incredible experience, and we’ll see what the future holds for us. I would like to make a championship next year. Driving an F1 car in testing is good, but not many teams can offer that. I’m trying to find a place in a good championship, and I think Super Formula is the best option for me.”
In his role as Sauber’s reserve driver for the 2024 season, Pourchaire will be deeply involved in simulator sessions and possibly in free practice sessions, given his rookie status. This dual commitment in Super Formula and Sauber underlines his determination and strategic approach towards a potential future in Formula 1. Despite the setback, Pourchaire’s journey continues to inspire, exemplifying the resilience and adaptability needed in the highly competitive world of motorsports.