Busy October for Bühler, Amand, and Saleh, as Pourchaire prepares for F2 finale in Abu Dhabi
The Sauber Academy drivers resumed action throughout October, as their respective campaigns draw near their final stages. With podiums, simulator work, and overseas races, the four drivers carrying the Sauber colours enjoyed a busy month full of activities.
The wait is almost over for Théo Pourchaire, who will head to Abu Dhabi in a little over two weeks’ time for the title showdown of the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship. The young Frenchman enjoyed a positive third season in the series, dovetailing it with his Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake reserve driver duties. The extensive simulator work, which provided crucial insight to the race team, was followed up by a proper free practice outing at the Mexican Grand Prix, the first one of the season for the skilled Frenchman. Unfortunately, the session didn’t go as expected, and a technical issue kept Théo in the garage for the majority of FP1; still, the Frenchman didn’t lose his signature ever upbeat mood, and went on supporting the team trackside for the rest of the weekend. Théo’s focus now shifts back to Formula 2: heading to the Emirates with a 25-points gap over Vesti, Théo will be racing for the crown under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit at the end of November – ready and motivated to give out his all.
Following an extended break after the summer, Léna Bühler headed to Austin, Texas, for the final round of the inaugural F1 Academy season. The Swiss racer, who headed to the States 48 points behind championship leader, Marta García, kept up with the great performances shown throughout the season, and enjoyed the trackside support of fellow Sauber Academy driver, Théo Pourchaire, as well as that of Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake. Going for the title looked to be a tough job, but Léna gave her all until the very end, collecting two podiums and a fourth place throughout the weekend and ultimately cementing her second position in the standings – overall claiming a record 13 podiums to her name in her debut season. Now some well-deserved time off awaits the Swiss racer, as she keeps on training and finalising her plans for the upcoming year.
Marcus Amand headed to the Netherlands, in Zandvoort, for the ninth round of the 2023 Formula Regional European Championship. Following two collective tests to get to know the track and its peculiar layout, activities kicked off on Saturday, when the French-Finnish driver couldn’t maximise his chances, and finished the race in P13. Sunday was a completely different job, with Marcus claiming the fastest time of the two qualifying groups, starting from pole and ultimately finishing the race on the second step of the podium, adding more points to his tally. The championship travelled to Germany the following weekend, for the season finale hosted at the iconic Hockenheimring. The final round of the year didn’t go as expected for the young French-Finn, who finished outside of the points in Race 1, and unfortunately retired in Race 2. It has been a season of learning for Marcus, who will now put his focus and the lessons learned onto being at his best ahead of next year.
Taym Saleh travelled to Naples, Italy, for the final WSK Euro Series round. In a challenging weekend marred by variable weather conditions, which even resulted in a temporary suspension of all activities due to a thunderstorm, Taym put up some of his best performances of the season, recovering from a less-than-ideal qualifying session up to fifth place, ultimately clinching second place in the OK-Junior category, just five lengths behind championship winner Iacopo Martinese. The young German’s season is far from being over, with the WSK Final Cup in Lonato and the Champions of the Future Dubai round, both taking place in November.
With the F1 Academy and the Formula Regional European Championship seasons having come to their conclusions, Théo’s and Taym’s campaigns remain open. Different series, but one, common goal: to achieve incredible results flying the Sauber Academy flag.