Pourchaire “pretty sure” he wouldn’t be on the 2023 F1 grid even with an F2 title

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The Sauber Academy member will finish second in the F2 standings behind champion Felipe Drugovich, with the season finale this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

There were rumors Pourchaire could be in line for an F1 seat at Alfa Romeo if he won the title, although those hopes were dashed at Monza when Drugovich took the crown.

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Pourchaire says that while he is not sure what his plans are for next year, he is “ready to work on myself” and is hoping for an F1 seat in 2024.

He told TBEN: “To be honest, even if I had won the championship I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be in F1 in 2023.

“Because of a lot of things, and that’s the sport these days, it is, it’s built that way. So I’m okay with that.

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

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“The rest doesn’t really interest me, I’m not really interested in being a GT driver, Formula E driver or anything else.

“I mean, if I can’t get into F1, maybe I’ll drive those cars, those championships, but my dream right now is to be in F1, that’s all.”

Théo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: DPPI

Pourchaire made his F1 weekend debut at the US Grand Prix last month, competing in FP1 with Alfa Romeo.

He completed 19 laps of the Circuit of the Americas in the C42, replacing Valtteri Bottas, and finished the session in 18th ahead of Williams F1 prospect Logan Sargeant and Haas substitute Antonio Giovinazzi.

Pourchaire will continue his work as a reserve driver next year and will move closer to the team’s headquarters in Switzerland.

He said: “The FP1 outing was amazing, it’s incredible. F1 cars are really fast. Being on the track in the Formula 1 weekend with all the other drivers, it feels great.

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“That track is amazing, Austin is incredible, I love this track now. I’ve only ridden it for 15 laps, but I’d love to ride it again.

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

Theo Pourchaire, Alfa Romeo C42

Theo Pourchaire, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar/Motorsport Images

“The team is already in good shape, we’ve made some good upgrades to the car, so next year could be a really good year for the team.

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

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The 19-year-old is not yet sure of his race schedule for next year, but said a third F2 season is “clearly an option”.

Current champion Drugovich won the title on his third attempt, while Nyck de Vries, who joins AlphaTauri in F1 next year, did the same.

“We talked about it with the Sauber Academy a few days ago,” he said.

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

“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’m definitely capable of winning this championship, I’ll at least do my best if I do this for another year, I don’t know yet.’

He added: “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?