What a year it has been for Pierre-Louis Chovet. After coming second in F3 Asia in February, the Frenchman found himself without a racing seat after a short-lived adventure in FIA F3 after his main sponsors pulled out last May. However, the former Campos and Jenzer Motorsport driver looks more determined than ever to continue his career in single-seaters. And he might have a surprise in store.
By Perceval Wolff
Who would have thought that someone who spent the whole winter battling Guanyu Zhou or Jehan Daruvala would be left without a racing seat? That’s what happened to Pierre-Louis Chovet, who lost his main sponsor less than four months after multiple wins in F3 Asia. However, since that moment, the 19-year-old Frenchman has been trying to gather sponsors and investors to fulfil his ambitions: coming back to F3.
“Well, for the moment, I’m talking with several top teams in FIA F3. I’m actively looking for sponsors and investors and so far I have managed to gather around fifty percent of the required budget for a full season, thanks to Groupe Ségond and another well known luxury company. And I’m close to making a deal with an Italian industrial group.”
Last August, Pierre-Louis Chovet was spotted in several garages at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, especially with Graff Racing (LMP2). Could we see the Frenchman in endurance soon?
“I’m working on an F3 comeback. I’m still targeting single-seaters. I’ve been to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and it has been a really good experience with Graff Racing. I’ve also been to IDEC, to other teams… It really is a unique race. But for the moment, I’m focusing on the budgets for F3. I am giving myself two, three months to succeed in finding the money for F3. And if it doesn’t work, I will do endurance.”
Return to FRECA
Chovet’s situation was comparable to that of Gianluca Petecof who was left without a seat after a few races. The Brazilian driver managed a return to FRECA with KIC Motorsport, although winning the championship already last year.
Would Chovet accept a downgrade to FRECA after having been in FIA F3? “There were some possibilities to run in FRECA almost for free. But I preferred actively looking for sponsors instead of driving in a championship for a backmarker.”
“Last season, Petecof won twice at the Red Bull Ring with Prema and this year it has been very difficult for him, so we see big gaps between the teams. If ART or Prema had proposed something to me, I would have gone. But if it’s not in the best teams, it’s not really useful.”
During his F3 Asia campaign, Chovet won six out of the fifteen races to finish runner-up just behind Guanyu Zhou, currently 2nd in F2 and rumoured as a potential Alfa Romeo F1 driver next year. What does Chovet think about his former rival?
“It’s really good for him! And Daruvala also won last weekend, it’s good too! I feel happy for them. For sure they have the financial support to perform in F2, and we all do with what we have. It has been a pleasure to fight with him and even to beat him several times, so if one of them goes to F1, I’ll be even more proud of what we achieved this winter with Pinnacle and Romain (his race engineer from DAMS, ed.).
The Frenchman keeps on driving in karting and the simulator: “This evening, I’m going to drive the simulator. I’m currently driving for R8G, Romain Grosjean’s esports team. They give me the best setups, so that’s really nice of them. I talk to Romain on WhatsApp and he is a very nice guy, he helps me and he is really cool, even more when you start to know him.”
Simulator sessions, physical and mental training, Pierre-Louis Chovet is staying fit and seems to be ready at any moment: “We never know what’s coming. I always need to be ready to step in a car, there are always talks going on so I always need to be in my top form.”
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