Theo Pourchaire will make his FP1 debut for Alfa Romeo at the United States Grand Prix before stepping up to the role of reserve driver in 2023.
The 19-year-old is currently second in the Formula 2 championship with one round remaining, and has been part of the Sauber Academy for three years. After Alfa Romeo was able to designate Zhou Guanyu as one of its mandatory FP1 rookie drivers on his debut in Bahrain, the team only had one slot left to fulfill and Pourchaire – who drove a 2019 Alfa Romeo at the Hungaroring last year – will do so in Austin as part of preparations for him to be one of the team’s reserves next season.
“I am thrilled to be making my free practice debut in Austin; it will be my second time behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, but in some ways, it will feel like it’s the first time, as this time it will be during an official grand prix session,” Pourchaire said.
“It feels like a dream coming true, and I want to thank Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for putting their trust in me and granting me this amazing opportunity: I am looking forward to being on track, and I will make sure to get the most out of it and to do my best to support the team as they prepare for the United States Grand Prix.”
Team principal Frederic Vasseur has been a supporter of Pourchaire through his junior career.
“Theo has been delivering great performances over the course of this season, as well as during the previous years,” Vasseur said. “We have been working closely with him for almost four years now, as a member of our Academy, and we have been impressed by his constant progress and development as a driver first and, equally importantly, as a person.
“We are delighted to give him his first free practice outing next week: it’s a well-deserved opportunity, and I’m confident he will once again impress us with his performances, as he will help the team gather valuable data ahead of the United States Grand Prix.”