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Rising star ready for F1 debut with dual team backup role

Rising star ready for F1 debut with dual team backup role
© Reuters
An eager newcomer is optimistic about his imminent opportunity to showcase his talents in Formula 1.

An eager newcomer is optimistic about his imminent opportunity to showcase his talents in Formula 1.

After several years of anticipation for his moment, the current Formula 2 titleholder Theo Pourchaire has shifted his focus to competing in Japan's Super Formula this season, alongside his initial forays into Indycar.

Last year's F2 second-place finisher, Frederik Vesti, has transitioned this season to the European Le Mans series, racing in the LMP2 category.

But the 22-year-old Danish racer, who nearly stepped in for Logan Sargeant at Williams earlier this year, continues to pursue his Formula 1 aspirations.

Vesti, supported by Williams' engine supplier Mercedes, stated late last year: "There are around 15 drivers who are out of contract in F1 in 2025, so I will be right there to knock on the doors of all the teams."

'Right there' refers to his role as a frequent on-site reserve driver for Mercedes' factory team. But this arrangement might also see him driving for McLaren this season.

"As part of the agreement that Mercedes has with McLaren, I can also act as a reserve driver for them," he explained to Viaplay.

"So if one of their drivers falls ill or something, they (McLaren) also have the option of putting me in the car."

Vesti mentioned that stepping into the McLaren car would be straightforward for him.

"I know the Mercedes engine very well," he asserted. "I know how to handle it. And I know how to use the steering wheel and all the buttons."

"It makes it quite easy to be a reserve driver for another team that has a Mercedes engine."

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Theo Pourchaire on November 26, 2023
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