The F2 Report: Pourchaire crowned Champion at Abu Dhabi

The F2 Report: Pourchaire crowned Champion at Abu Dhabi

The F2 Report: Pourchaire crowned Champion at Abu Dhabi

Théo Pourchaire won the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship after a stellar comeback drive at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The Frenchman held onto his lead in the Drivers’ Standings to finish just 11 points ahead of vice-Champion Frederik Vesti.

While Vesti managed to bring the showdown to the final Feature race after victory in the preceding Sprint, Pourchaire kept a level head to score valuable points in both races to claim the Title after three years in the Formula 1 feeder series.

Both he and teammate Victor Martins’ performances in the 13th and final round also secured the Teams’ Championship for French outfit ART Grand Prix, while PREMA Racing settled for second.

The Feature race was won by Jack Doohan, son of multiple Motorcycle World Champion Mick Doohan. He pipped Ayumu Iwasa to third in the final Standings.

Pourchaire reflects on mighty 2023 campaign

The F2 Report: Pourchaire crowned Champion at Abu Dhabi

Starting both races from 14th on the grid, Pourchaire turned up the pace when it really mattered to cross the line in seventh and fifth in the Sprint and Feature races respectively.

The 20-year-old ended his first full season in FIA Formula 2 in fifth back in 2021, and was runner-up to a dominant Felipe Drugovich last year.

Third time’s the charm for Pourchaire however, as he ticks yet another box on his journey to a hopeful Formula 1 seat.

Speaking to F2 media after the deciding race, he reflected on a masterful year-round performance: “It’s unbelievable, I still can’t believe it. To be honest, I am so proud of myself, so proud of my team, so proud of everybody that worked with me that helped me to achieve this goal.

“This year I wanted to win the Championship. I worked really hard this winter. ART Grand Prix did an amazing effort to have me in their team,” he added.

Pourchaire goes on to thank the Alfa Romeo Sauber Academy for helping him on the road to F1 so far. He added: “Same to the Sauber Academy, without them I would not be here, I would have been only a reserve driver. They trust me, I trust them of course and we did it together so it’s amazing.”

The young Frenchman has driven for Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake on two occasions in 2023, in FP1 for the Mexico City and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. At the moment, his potential entry into the world of F1 is most likely with the Hinwil-based outfit.

Better luck next time for runner-up Vesti

It was always going to be a difficult task for Mercedes Academy driver Vesti to snatch the Title from Pourchaire. He had to overturn a 25-point deficit heading into the Yas Island round, but despite a win in the Sprint race and a hard-fought podium in the Feature race, it just wasn’t to be for the Dane.

A markedly disappointed Vesti still drew positives from an impressive 2023 campaign. He told media: “I’m frustrated not to win the title, I’ve been fighting so hard this year and I’ve had some great races and a great Championship.

“This weekend I managed to put it together, we knew we had to do if we wanted a chance and we gave it absolutely everything.

“I can go to bed proud tonight. Obviously, I’m disappointed to not win the title but I have learnt so much throughout this year and I’m looking forward to taking that forward in my career,” he concluded.

A lot to look forward to for revamped 2024

The F2 Report: 2024 car revealed and what to look out for at Monza

We are going to have to wait almost 100 days until F2 returns, but there is plenty to be excited about as the next host of rookies test their mettle against any remaining drivers from the class of 2023.

Most notably, the spec series will use a completely new chassis for 2024, with a design not dissimilar to the modern era of F1 cars.

The so-called “Dallara F2 2024” will be able to run on fully sustainable fuel while suspension geometry and braking forces have been tweaked to level the playing field between men and women in the sport.

Furthermore, the Zandvoort round will be replaced with a race at the Lusail International Circuit. F1 have raced there two times, but this will be the first time that the feeder series will take place in Qatar.

F2 isn’t quite finished yet; the post-season test takes place over the course of three days starting November 29. Racing action recommences March 1 2024 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

2023 Formula 2 final Standings

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