2021 FIA Karting best-of : Théo Pourchaire: from karting to the doors of F1

Published on Monday, January 31, 2022

2021 FIA Karting best-of : Théo Pourchaire: from karting to the doors of F1

A young French motorsport hopeful, Théo Pourchaire has always been precocious in his progress from karting. He had a remarkable season in the FIA F2 Championship in 2021, but there was no lack of setbacks. It takes more than that to dampen the spirits of this 18-year-old driver with an engaging personality, who stands out for his straightforwardness and his closeness with his family. He is preparing for his entry into Formula 1 without any great pressure and the maturity that emerges from his words contrasts with his youth and his ever-smiling attitude. 

How has this first season in F2 gone so far?
On a personal level it has been a very good season for me. I have shown that I am mature enough to drive at this level. I made a few mistakes, but I became the youngest poleman in the class and the youngest winner in Monaco in F2. After my arm injury in Baku it was a difficult recovery at Silverstone, but I gave it everything I had to hold on. Winning the Championship is now more difficult, but I am determined to fight until the end. 

What role did karting play in your rapid progress?
Karting is very important for success in motor racing, but I don't think everyone understands why. The most important thing is not necessarily the driving. Going fast, winning races or titles is not always the most important thing. Driving a single-seater is quite different from driving a go-kart and at the wheel of a car you learn to drive well. On the other hand, there are several aspects that it is better to have learned before starting in a single-seater. Stress management, especially at the start, race strategy, all the necessary stamina and intelligence that this requires, the habit of working in a team and collaboration with the technicians, all this can be learnt from karting if you work hard enough and do not lose sight of your objective. 

Who are the people who have influenced you during your years in karting?
First of all I would mention Nicolas Moni, the team manager of Jana Racing, who has been my mentor since my first years in racing. His professionalism, his rigour, his high standards and his experience immediately set the framework for my career. I wasn't there to have fun, but to progress on many levels that go far beyond karting. Having said that, I consider that enjoying driving is an indispensable element throughout a career. If you take a serious attitude from the start, the rewards are much greater. I really enjoyed having Jérôme Martinez as a mechanic and then racing internationally with Olivier Maréchal and the official Kosmic team. I also have a fruitful relationship with Julien Abelli from Simumotion who I trust completely. But honestly, it's my family that has helped me the most to progress to the current level.

Can you explain the role of your family in your career?
We are very close and I can't thank them enough for everything they have done and continue to do for me. My father has always been involved in discussing contracts with teams and finding funding. My sister Pauline gradually became involved in communication, while my mother still balances racing and normal life. Even though we are 100% involved in racing, we are also an ordinary family with all the reassurance that represents. Thanks to these strong family ties and the harmony that unites us, I don't need the constant presence of a coach or driver 'friends' by my side. I was able to continue my studies up to the baccalaureate thanks to the FFSA's Pôle France and I know that I could have a fulfilling professional life if ever motor racing had to stop.

 

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