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Alfa Romeo to use Pourchaire for F1 practice in Mexico City

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Alfa Romeo Racing has confirmed it will run its reserve driver Theo Pourchaire in the first practice session at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Pourchaire made his Formula 1 practice debut with the team at last year’s United States Grand Prix while in his second Formula 2 season.

He is currently leading the 2023 F2 standings with one round to go, and the season concludes at Yas Marina Circuit on the Abu Dhabi GP support bill. It is expected Pourchaire will also drive for Alfa Romeo in practice then, meaning he will spend his Friday at the event combining F1 mileage with F2 practice and qualifying later in the day.

F2 is not supporting F1 in Mexico this weekend, and since Pourchaire is only the acting reserve driver on weekends when he is also racing in F2 it means he will have a relaxed schedule after driving the Alfa Romeo C43 for the first time in practice.

As of this September, Alfa Romeo were in talks to find Pourchaire a racing programme for 2024 since he was overlooked for being promoted to an F1 seat and retained as reserve driver instead. His chances of staying in single-seater racing look slim.

If he wins the F2 title then the rules do not permit him to race there again, and there are no available seats in Formula E where he has impressed in tests before.

In the IndyCar driver market there is only room for one-off deals right now, which Alfa Romeo’s operating company Sauber would be willing to fund, since no team there currently has the budget to add another full-time car. A large scale IndyCar programme for Pourchaire would also get in the way of his F1 reserve driver duties, which basically rules out that option anyway.