How do you follow up winning a Championship title? For Théo Pourchaire, you dust yourself off, get back into the gym and poise yourself to fight for another.
Joining F3 frontrunners ART Grand Prix for the new season, the French rookie says that he is confident he can challenge for the Championship in 2020.
The 16-year-old was amongst the first driver announcements for the new season and joins race-winning outfit ART on the back of winning ADAC F4. His tally of four wins and 12 podiums from 20 races proves he is both emphatic and consistent and he’s already working hard to improve himself ahead of the new season.
“I learned a lot last year,” he explained. “It was one of the best years of my career, but I need to do it again this year and I am working hard every day for that, so we will see.
“Formula 3 is harder, yes, but I learned a lot of things last year, in terms of my driving in races, and mentally too, so I do think that I can do it again this year.”
ART Grand Prix took third in the Teams’ Championship last year with one win and three podiums. The pressure will be on Pourchaire to follow in the footsteps of last season’s successful crop and deliver instant results.
“It’s a big opportunity to join ART,” he continued. “They are a big team, one that can win races and that can win the Championship. It is good for me to be in a French team and to be able to speak French with my engineer and mechanics, it’s really helpful.
“I need to focus on myself and I need to work hard with the team and everybody around me: my family, my physio, everybody, in order to improve myself to try and win the championship.”
The leap from ADAC F4 will be steep. With 3.4 litre engines, which produce 380 HP, the use of DRS and the challenging Pirelli rubber to grasp, the Frenchman will need to hit the ground running.
Pourchaire says that he’s been bracing himself for the task ahead of pre-season testing in Bahrain. “It is a completely new car for me,” he continued. “There is a lot more power and a lot more downforce. The tyres are also difficult and there’s the Halo on the car as well – that’s not a big thing, but it’s still a change.
“I will see at the Bahrain tests how to adapt myself to the car, but I think that I can do it. For me, the downforce will be the most difficult part because in F4, there is almost no downforce. Now in the fast corners, I need to improve myself a bit, but I can do it. I have spent a lot of time in the gym and worked hard on mental preparation.”