Formula 1 Racing

Pourchaire leaves Super Formula to take Malukas’ McLaren IndyCar seat · RaceFans

Pourchaire confirmed as McLaren's replacement for Malukas at most rounds · RaceFans

Theo Pourchaire will contest the majority of the remaining races on the IndyCar schedule for McLaren in place of David Malukas, the team has confirmed.

He will compete 12 of the upcoming 13 races but miss the championship’s showpiece event, the Indianapolis 500 at the end of this month.

He will not return to Japan’s Super Formula series where he began his season two months ago. He finished 18th on his debut and was due to make his second start for the Impul team at Autopolis next week

Pourchaire made his debut in IndyCar for McLaren at the Grand Prix of Long Beach as a substitute for Malukas, who was injured in a pre-season cycling accident. He finished 11th in his first race and returned for the following round at Barber Motorsport Park.

Following the latter race McLaren announced Malukas would not join the team as planned due to his longer than expected absence. Ahead of this weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix the team confirmed Pourchaire as his replacement.

“I developed a good relationship with the team since I arrived in Indianapolis and right now I have this opportunity to finish the season with them, except the Indy 500 of course, and it’s unbelievable,” said Pourchaire. “Also I have to thank Sauber. I’m part of the Sauber Academy and I’m still a reserve driver for them.”

After missing the Indy 500, Pourchaire’s first race on an oval will come at the tight Iowa course when it holds a double-header event in July. While some drivers from Europe are reluctant to take on the particular challenges of IndyCar’s oval, Pourchaire said he’s relishing the opportunity.

“I had my first test in Gateway,” he said. “It’s really impressive. Ovals are crazy, it’s so fast.

“At the end I was so tired because I was a bit stressed. I didn’t want to do any mistakes because at that speed if you do a small mistake, it can be really bad. But I enjoyed it.

“You’re driving close to the walls and trying to feel the car. It’s really important to work with your engineers, feel the car and have a lot of confidence. I really can’t wait to do my first oval race. It’s going to be new to me but that’s why I’m here now in IndyCar, I love it, it’s a great championship.”

Callum Ilott originally took Malukas’ place for the season-opening round at St Petersburg and the non-championship event at The Thermal Club. However clashes with his World Endurance Championship programme for Jota Porsche ruled him out of Long Beach and this…

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