Sauber-backed youngster Theo Pourchaire says he feels ready for a full-time Formula 2 seat after classifying as runner-up in his rookie FIA Formula 3 campaign.
Pourchaire only began his single-seater career in his native France in 2018 but last year won the German Formula 4 title and for 2020 stepped up to Formula 3 with ART Grand Prix.
Pourchaire, who turned 17 last month, began the year slowly but claimed back-to-back wins in Austria and Hungary before gradually emerging as a title contender.
He entered the final trio of events 51 points off the title lead but capped the nine-round campaign with four successive podiums to finish just three points behind champion Oscar Piastri.
“For the moment, we don’t really know,” said Pourchaire on his next step. “We have an idea for sure. The next category is Formula 2.
“After P2 in the F3 Championship, really close to P1, with good performances at the end of the Championship… For me I feel ready to go to Formula 2.
“Everything needs to be ready. The budget, everything. We’re going to speak with ART, because I think they’re proud of what I achieved, and proud of this season.
“Maybe we will try to make everything possible to go to Formula 2.”
ART is owned by Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team boss Frederic Vasseur and Pourchaire has been affiliated with Sauber Motorsport for the past two years, remaining part of its restructured young driver scheme for 2020.
“There are some hallmarks of great champions: skill, composure, the knowledge of when to attack and when to hold back and the ability to be competitive from the very start in any championship,” said Vasseur.
“Theo has shown all these qualities in his rookie season in Formula 3 and it’s been incredible to watch this huge talent develop in front of our eyes.
“Missing out on the championship for such a small margin should not detract from an impressive performance.”