Audi outline roadmap for French wonderkid for F1 team

Audi will complete a majority takeover of Sauber in 2026, and it has been reported that they are interested in signing Mick Schumacher.

Theo Pourchaire is one of the most exciting prospects in Formula 1, with the 19-year-old having already completed two seasons of F2 racing despite his young age.

Pourchaire finished second in this year’s series and has suggested that this might be the last time he takes part in F2, as the cost is beginning to outweigh the benefits.

“This is my last F2 season for sure, financially it won’t be possible,” he said.

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur has outlined the team’s plan for the Frenchman when they become Audi in 2026, claiming that a full time reserve driver role would be the best option for Pourchaire next year to develop him for a shot at a race seat later down the line.

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“The reserve driver role is multifaceted, many drivers who sine in F1 have not done better than he did in Formula 1,” said Vasseur.

“He is also really young. The conclusion we drew was that we needed to structure him a little more, give him more experience, more technical work – especially outside the car.

“When you’re 18 or 19, it’s not always easy to position yourself compared to people of your father’s age who are professionals. But I’m not worried about that for him.”

The Frenchman, who raced for ART this year, has admitted that after speaking to Alfa Romeo, he might consider overturning his decision to quit F2, as long as the offer on the table makes it a worthwhile choice.

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“If there is a good contract and a good option, why noy do F2 again, I am 19 years old, I will still be one of the youngest drivers next year,” he said.

“Perhaps I won’t do anything with the reserve driver role. After the stress, the race, the life is still good. The simulator is good but it’s not reality.

“My main role will be reserve driver to help the team. I am preparing for 2024. My dream is to be in F1 – to be a world champion.”

Despite Pourchaire’s suggestions that he might just take up the reserve driver role in 2023, Vasseur is keen to keep their wonderkid racing next year, alongside developing the technical side of his racing.

“He will do two FP1s, tests during the season and tests after the season,” explained the Alfa Romeo boss.

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“After that he will be in charge of development in the simulator and also during the race weekends. It is a real structuring program for him because there are briefings before, briefings after, being with his engineers, his mechanics, himself in his preparation.

“We are thinking about having him do a parallel racing program to allow him to stay sharp competitively. 

“F2 is an obvious option, because it means he stays with us, in our world, in contact with us.”