Theo Pourchaire, Alfa Romeo, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2023

Pourchaire considering IndyCar and Super Formula as F1 hopes fade

Formula 1

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Formula 2 championship leader Theo Pourchaire is considering a move into IndyCar or Super Formula next year as his chances of graduating into Formula 1 in the short term have receded.

Pourchaire is a member of Sauber’s junior driver programme. The team’s F1 entry is currently branded by Alfa Romeo, which is set to pull out of the series at the end of the year. Sauber has already confirmed it will retain its current drivers Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu for next season.

If he cannot race in F1 next year, Pourchaire feels “the best is to drive a car that is close to F1.”

“For sure nothing is really, really close to F1, F1 is really special. But of course the best is to drive a single seater that is really quick.

“Let’s see: IndyCar, Super Formula, there’s maybe other options, I don’t know, but let’s see.”

Alfa Romeo has already confirmed he is part of their plans for next year. “I have some opportunities. I’m talking a lot with Alfa Romeo to see what we can do together. I will be the reserve driver for the team, which is great. It’s a first good opportunity.

“But of course I want to do something else. It’s a priority to me, I want to drive, I want to keep myself busy and fit. So let’s see. But there’s a few great championships.”

Pourchaire took over Bottas’ car for the first practice session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Friday. However he was unable to complete any meaningful running due to problem with the braking system on his car.

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“Straight away I had an alarm on the dashboard,” he explained. “The team could see as well on the telemetry the issue. We tried many things to solve the issue, but it didn’t work. They have to change something on the car.”

His session ended after just four laps. “I cannot go too much into details and also the team is not 100% sure where it comes from,” he said, “but it’s motorsport, it can happen. Unfortunately it happened when I’m in the car for FP1.

“It’s a bit disappointing for sure because I’ve prepared myself a lot here and last time I drove it was in Abu Dhabi last year so it was a long time ago. I wanted to drive, the track looks cool, I did some small laps, but I couldn’t push because it was not so safe to push, brake system issues. So it’s like this.”

Alfa Romeo still has to conduct give one further practice session to a junior driver before the end of the season. The only realistic opportunity to do that will be in the season finale at Yas Marina, where Pourchaire will also be racing in F2. However he did not rule out making another practice appearance there.

“I will be fully focussed on the F2 in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “Let’s see if I will be driving in FP1 there. That’s most probably the only track where I can drive again in F1, so let’s see.

“But as I said, full focus on the F2 championship. It’s my main goal and I want to finish on a high my Formula 2 career. I have the title to win, two titles to win because there’s a team championship as well. So we can do great in Abu Dhabi. And let’s see, maybe I will be back in the F1 also.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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6 comments on “Pourchaire considering IndyCar and Super Formula as F1 hopes fade”

  1. felt for him today, big chance to get in an F1 car and it breaks down right away. A little surprised it wasn’t discovered before he got in the car, seems there is a safety check on everything

  2. IndyCar maybe or even FE, WEC, but I don’t see where he could necessarily fit in SF as Iwasa will likely fill the vacancy created by Lawson’s departure in Team Mugen.

  3. With an average of around 2 seats opening up per year in F1, basically at consistent record lows due to no new teams, long-term contracts etc…, the game of Junior Formula racing is as much about timing as anything else.

    It really should force everyone to start questioning whether the vast sums of money spent are actually worth it, but the allure of F1 is so strong I doubt anyone will.

  4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    28th October 2023, 9:43

    He’s probably better than sargeant, tsunoda, stroll, Zhou and magnussen. Really need more teams and less dross.

  5. He’d have an opportunity to win the biggest race in the world and earn millions if he goes to IndyCar. In FE, he’d have a chance to win a race in a Tesco car park. Hard decision.

    1. Haha, totally agree, Don!

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