Pourchaire wins 2023 Formula 2 title after hard-fought Abu Dhabi finale

Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire beat Mercedes and Prema driver Frederik Vesti to the 2023 Formula 2 championship title


Theo Pourchaire is finally a Formula 2 champion, after the Frenchman held off Frederik Vesti‘s charge in Abu Dhabi to claim a title three years in the making.

Pourchaire didn’t make it easy for himself, stepping out of an Alfa Romeo F1 car straight into his ART he could only manage a lowly 14th in qualifying while Vesti hauled himself into 9th.

That meant he started on the front row of Saturday’s sprint race and the Dane took full advantage, he got bullied somewhat at the start and dropped to fourth but fought his way back to take victory with the fastest lap.

Pourchaire‘s two points in the sprint meant Vesti needed to outscore his rival by 16 points to wrestle the title away, and he gave it all battling up to a podium in the feature.

But Pourchaire wasn’t going to be denied, and claimed fifth place to secure the championship by 11 points.

Steady but certainly not slow

It’s been a long time coming for Pourchaire, who burst into F2 aged a tender 16 as one of the very hottest properties in junior racing.

Pourchaire finished fifth in his debut season – just two years after graduating F4 – and entered 2022 as favourite, but finished over 100 points behind runaway champion Felipe Drugovich.

Pourchaire‘s always had blinding speed but he’s shown a new level of maturity in 2023, not losing his cool after a frustrating early season that saw four non-scores including three retirements in the first seven races.

But third place in the Azerbaijan feature race provided the springboard for a sensational resurgence ahead of the summer break, as Pourchaire only finished outside the top eight once.

He’s only taken one victory in 2023 but his 10 podiums display the ruthless consistency that’s formed the backbone of this championship victory.

Don’t conflate that with dullness though, much of Pourchaire‘s success has come from battling performances into the top five or beyond in reverse grid races.

By contrast, Vesti has taken five wins and led for much of the season but a run of just one points finish in five before arriving in Abu Dhabi derailed his title charge.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Lance Stroll of Aston Martin and Lando Norris of McLaren during 2023 Spanish GP practice | Aston Martin F1 Team

F1 Spanish GP 2024: Schedule and Session Start Times

As the 2024 Formula 1 season progresses, the Spanish Grand Prix stands out as a pivotal event, offering a...
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Advance Auto Parts Ford, celebrates after winning the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Iowa Corn 350 at Iowa Speedway | NASCAR

How two tyres carried Ryan Blaney to NASCAR win at Iowa

Ryan Blaney's June began in heartbreaking fashion when Team Penske opted to gamble on fuel, only for him to...
Max Verstappen leads George Russell of Mercedes during the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull vs McLaren vs Mercedes: What next in F1’s development war?

The Canadian Grand Prix served up the best race of the 2024 Formula 1 season so far with a...
Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton explains why F1 doesn’t need a transfer window

Lewis Hamilton has weighed in with his thoughts on whether Formula 1 should adopt a football-style transfer window to...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Forget Ferrari, McLaren are the biggest threat to Red Bull

The very fact that Lando Norris was disappointed and frustrated with finishing second at the Formula 1 2024 Canadian...
Sergio Perez looks on at the 2024 Canadian GP | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Horner calls for Perez to bounce back as he heaps praise on Verstappen

Team principal Christian Horner for Sergio Perez to get back to from for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix whilst...

Should F1 adopt a football-style transfer window for drivers? Max Verstappen is the proof...

Formula 1 is unlike any other sport, and that's fine - the F1 purists thrive on its unique qualities....

What went wrong for Will Brown, Cam Waters in NASCAR Cup debuts

The NASCAR Cup Series had some Australian flavour Sunday when Supercars Championship stars Will Brown and Cameron Waters made...

What we learned from the 2024 Canadian GP

Max Verstappen returned to the top step of the podium after a terrible 2024 Monaco Grand Prix with an...
Norman Nato leads the field at the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024-25 calendar announced for first Gen3 Evo season

Formula E have announced its provisional calendar for the 2024-25 season, which will be the first campaign for the...
- Advertisment -