Pourchaire dedicates French F2 podium to late Anthoine Hubert: ‘We everyday miss Anthoine for sure’

Saturday’s Formula 2 Sprint Race was extremely entertaining, with the final few laps seeing multiple drivers switch places within the podium positions. One of those who took advantage of the craziness was the local 18-year-old Théo Pourchaire, who rose from sixth on the grid to finish P3.

By Tyler Foster

With some aggressive moves, Pourchaire was investigated for his overtake on Marcus Armstrong that saw him take the final podium place. However, it was the mark of a driver inspired by his home crowd. The French teenager took the fight to his championship rival Felipe Drugovich, who started a spot ahead of him, but overtook the Brazilian early on.

He joined the battle along with Armstrong, Daruvala and eventual race winner Liam Lawson for the top three. With a surprising move that caught Armstrong off-guard, Pourchaire dove down the inside of Turn 11 and squeezed the Hitech driver off the track, sealing his third place in the process.

After the race the Frenchman, who was born less than two hours from Le Castellet, drove back to the grid to celebrate with the home fans in front of the main grandstand. As he pulled into the P3 slot and removed himself from his ART, he raised his arms aloft to a grand cheer from the French supporters. Speaking to F1 Feeder Series after the race, Pourchaire summed up his joy at that moment.

“It felt amazing when I arrived at the P3 board. It was just amazing the atmosphere. I would to thank all the fans because for me in Formula 2 I feel like I don’t deserve all of that. It’s truly amazing.”

Racing for Anthoine

With the Paul Ricard circuit not being included in the previous two Formula 2 calendars, the last French driver to have stood on the podium at the French track was the late Anthoine Hubert, who was victorious there in the Sprint Race back in 2019. We asked Pourchaire whether he felt he was carrying forward the memory and legacy of Hubert with his own performance in this year’s Sprint Race.

We are all thinking about Anthoine

Théo Pourchaire

“We everyday miss Anthoine for sure. I remember I was in Formula 4 and I was watching the race on TV in 2019. I came here [to Paul Ricard] on Saturday, I was on the grid, I saw him. We are all thinking about Anthoine I think, and also about Jules Bianchi. Both French drivers. We will miss them. I’m proud to be on the podium today and I can dedicate it for him.

“The pace was not too bad today and from P5 tomorrow we can expect to fight for another podium and another good result.”

Finally, Pourchaire has illustrated that he has the pace to contend in the Feature Race tomorrow. With this result willing him on, he will have a lot of momentum going into tomorrow’s race, especially considering that he is back up to P2 in the championship, and just 39 points behind Felipe Drugovich. Pourchaire will start from P5 on the grid, with Drugovich starting in P6.

Header photo credit: ART Grand Prix

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