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Sauber F1 junior pivots to IndyCar

Theo Pourchaire deputised for David Malukas at two events, but will now take over the No.6 McLaren Arrow for the remainder of the year - bar the Indy 500.

To news overview © 2024 Gavin Baker

Theo Pourchaire will complete the current IndyCar season for McLaren Arrow, minus the Indianapolis 500.

The 20-year-old made his debut in the No. 6 car at the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April, and followed up with his second start, at Barber, a week later.

That was in place of the injured David Malukas, who has been sidelined since before the start of the season. After that round at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, McLaren made use of a break clause in Malukas' contract to release him.

Pourchaire impressed on debut, finishing P11 having qualified P22. In the subsequent round, he finished ahead of McLaren's regular drivers Pato O'Ward and Alexander Rossi.

Now that IndyCar is into the infamous 'Month of May' the next two rounds will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, Pourchaire will not compete in the second event, the Indy 500 - but will race at oval tracks later in the season.

McLaren has not yet confirmed who will take over the No.6 car for that series' crown jewel.

IndyCar in place of Super Formula

Pourchaire, winner of the 2023 F2 drivers' title, had been competing in the 2024 Super Formula season, but will leave the series after just the first round to focus on IndyCar for the remainder of the year.

Speaking on taking over the No.6 McLaren Arrow, the French driver said: “The NTT INDYCAR SERIES has some of the best racing in motorsport, and now I can say that with experience. I'm excited to take on this challenge with Arrow McLaren for the rest of the season. 

"This is a special opportunity, and I am committed to learning and improving as we get on track each race weekend. I’ve enjoyed my first two races with the team, and I know we have plenty of potential in front of us. Of course, I would like to thank Zak [Brown], Gavin [Ward] and Tony [Kanaan], as well as the Sauber F1 Team, for making this all possible.”

Meanwhile, his new team principal, Gavind Ward, added: “We’re excited to continue working with Théo. He proved to be a quick learner, and we believe his skillset and learning mindset will support his development as he gets more comfortable racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Now, it’s about continuing to grow and turning those learnings into results alongside the No. 6 team.”

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