The 17-year-old has become a future F1 star in the making after becoming the youngest poleman and FIA Formula 2 race winner on his Monaco debut during his F2 rookie campaign this year.
Pourchaire’s rapid rise in the junior categories has earned him a place in the academy for young drivers Sauber, who has just added Juan Manuel Correa to its ranks, after his incredible comeback from fatal injuries suffered at Spa in 2019.
Already an ADAC Formula 4 champion in 2019, Pourchaire finished second in the FIA Formula 3 Championship last year, missing the title by four points from Oscar Piastri, and is already a winner of the F2 race after six races this year.
Despite his recent successes, the ART Grand Prix driver is realistic about his road to F1 and admits he still has a lot to learn before he’s ready to take the plunge.
While Vasseur has been impressed with Pourchaire’s progress and nascent talent, the Alfa Romeo boss believes it would be wrong to push the teenager into F1 “too soon”.
The Alfa Romeo driver lineup for 2022 has yet to be finalized with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi in the final year of their current contracts.
“We have a contract with Theo, but again, I don’t want to be in a rush with Theo, we have to keep in mind that he’s 17,” said Vasseur.
“If you compare with all the other talent coming into F1, they are much older and I don’t want to compare with Lewis (Hamilton), Nico (Rosberg) or Charles (Leclerc), they were much older and had more experience, and I think it would be a mistake to push it too early.
“He will have to do the work in F2 first and then we will have time to discuss it later.
“I was impressed by Theo [this year] but I was also impressed with Theo last year.
“For next year it’s a little too early because he only did three races in F2 and if you remember the past the guys could have been champions or had good results the first year and the last. part of the season.
“He’s more than young, he’s 17 and still pursuing a driver’s license and we have to give him time to do the job. We are not in a hurry but I think it is a very good [driver]. “
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal, Alfa Romeo Racing, at the Team Principals press conference
Photo by: FIA Pool
Pourchaire’s last appearance in F2 ended with a fractured left arm of the Frenchman following a clash with Dan Ticktum (Carlin) and Marcus Armstrong (DAMS) in the Baku race.
While revealing last week that he didn’t know if he would be fit to return to F2 at Silverstone next month, Vasseur is reasonably confident his young rookie will be given the green light to race the weekend of July 16-18. .
“He had a problem with his arm but a small break. He looks good and the doctor was very optimistic to let him go to Silverstone, ”he added.