Pourchaire: Quite a few doors have now opened for me Photo: ADAC Formel 4
Pourchaire: Quite a few doors have now opened for me Photo: ADAC Formel 4

An interview with champion Theo Pourchaire

Pourchaire: ADAC Formula 4 is extremely tough

The 2019 ADAC Formula 4 champion, Théo Pourchaire, talks about a year of mixed fortunes, the lessons he has learnt and his ambitions for 2020.

It’s been a very successful season for you. How would you sum it up?
It’s a great feeling to be the champion. ADAC Formula 4 is one of the toughest junior series. Here, you are competing at a very high level. It was a tough battle, and the season was far from easy. I can only thank my team for always providing me with a great car – they have played a huge part in this success.

Tell us how you saw the season developing.
It got off to quite a difficult start at Oschersleben. I wasn’t as quick as I had hoped. Even so, I finished on the podium for the first time. That was very good under the circumstances, so I look back on this opening weekend with mixed feelings. The Red Bull Ring was great – I adore this track.

But in the first race there, you had to retire...
That’s right. It was a big disappointment. But then I went on to win the second race, which was a huge relief. I was tremendously happy. Overall, it was a highly successful weekend. Just like Hockenheim, where I was really fast in qualifying and got onto the podium twice.

What was the highlight of the year from your point of view?
The weekend at the Nürburgring was sensational, and likewise the grand finale at the Sachsenring. I was easily the fastest at the Nürburgring – I might even have won by a margin of 15 seconds. I felt extremely good and had everything under control all the way through.

But then you had something of a setback...
That’s right. The second of the two weekends at Hockenheim was a very difficult one for me. I got on pole again but then had to retire from the race. The other two races were also disappointing. The positive aspect was that I experienced a lot of wheel-to-wheel action and suddenly found myself in a situation that I had never known before.

But despite everything, you went on to win the title...
The crowning glory came at the Sachsenring. I was under a lot of pressure and desperate to have a perfect weekend. I almost managed that. It started with me being the fastest in qualifying. I am extremely proud that I was able to deliver in the end.

What was the biggest disappointment of the campaign for you?
The Hockenheim weekend. I arrived with a lead of 52 points and yet might have thrown it all away there. The entire year, all the work I had put in – everything would have suddenly been in vain. But I also drew a lot of strength from this disappointment, because it forced me to fully focus on the final weekend. I went to the gym every day and summoned all my energy for the big prize.

That was quite a contest you had with Dennis Hauger...
Dennis was immensely strong – we had a lot of battles along the way, in qualifying, in the races themselves. I realised that he was extremely fast. But I’m always prepared to fight for victory.

What would you say are your greatest strengths? How would you describe yourself as a driver?
My greatest strength is the ability to stay focused and calm. I always want to be in control, and I try to concentrate on the matter in hand. Like every driver, of course, I want to win. I love that feeling. I have developed as a driver, especially in one-on-one situations.

What’s your next move?
I’ve just come back from holiday with the family, and I am now preparing for the new season. I attended the FIA Formula 3 rookie test with Carlin. I want to prove myself in this category, but we’ll see. Graduating to Formula 3 is my plan A – winning the ADAC Formula 4 championship has opened quite a few doors for me. I am certainly ready for the next major challenge.

2021 Season