At 16-years-old, most teenagers are focused on getting their grades in school, but Théo Pourchaire isn’t most 16-year-olds. The ART Grand Prix driver became Formula 3’s youngest winner on Sunday, taking victory in Race 2.
Admittedly, there was some good fortune in the win, as the Frenchman saw leaders Jake Hughes and Liam Lawson collide late on to hand him first. But, he would certainly argue that you make your own luck in this sport – and had he not remained patient behind them, he’d not have been in a position to benefit.
“It’s amazing! I’m super happy,” elated the Frenchman. “It’s only my second race weekend in Formula 3, so it’s amazing. I would like to thank ART Grand Prix for a wonderful car. I am so happy!
“I was super excited to cross the finish line, but I was also a little bit scared because I wanted to cross the finish line to win and to scream in the radio with the team! I will keep on working hard for more victories.”
Pourchaire did actually led for a period in the race, having overtaken Hughes off the line with a sublime getaway, before both the Briton and Lawson overtook him on the third lap.
The duo crashed out with just over two laps remaining, which meant Pourchaire enjoyed a safety escort to the line, while they removed the abandoned cars of Hughes and Lawson from the track.
“I had a really good start,” he recalled. “I was leading for three laps but then with the DRS it was a bit difficult to keep the first place. I was third all the race and then Lawson and Hughes came together, and I was able to get back into the lead. It was amazing!”
The winner’s tag that Pourchaire will now carry around could pile unwanted pressure onto the 16-year-old’s shoulders, but he insists that his approach to races will not change heading into Round 3 this weekend, in Budapest.
“It will be a bit difficult for me,” he admitted. “But, it’s good at the same time. The fact that we are doing three race weekends in a row means that I can learn quicker.
“I showed this weekend, after I qualified P5, that I was improving. It was better than P20 last weekend. In Hungary, I will discover the track, but I am confident that I can capitalise on what I have learnt at the Red Bull Ring.”