Formula 3 vice-champion Théo Pourchaire will become the second driver to earn an early shot in Formula 2, with BWT HWA RACELAB confirming the Frenchman in their No.17 car for Rounds 11 and 12 in Sakhir.

The Frenchman will replace fellow 2020 F3 race winner Jake Hughes at the German outfit - who stepped up for round 10 in Sochi - as he bids to earn a drive in the second tier for 2021.

Pourchaire will join the experienced Artem Markelov at HWA, becoming the youngest driver on the grid at just 17-years-old.

"I am really happy to participate in the final two rounds of FIA Formula 2 in Bahrain," Pourchaire elated. "I'd like to say a big thank you to BWT HWA RACELAB for giving me this opportunity.

“I can hardly wait to work with the team and get to know a new car. I would also like to thank my family and sponsors for their support. I am ready to race!"

Pourchaire – who is a member of the Sauber Driver Academy – won the junior title in his first season of single-seater racing in French F4, before taking the ADAC F4 Championship title a year later.

Stepping up to F3 in 2020, Pourchaire narrowly missed out on the title to Oscar Piastri, winning twice and taking a further six podiums as he finished on 161 points, three behind the Renault junior.

The 17-year-old is the youngest race winner in the Championship's short history, clinching his maiden victory in Round 2 at Spielberg.

"We are pleased to allow such a highly-talented young driver to take his first steps in Formula 2," said HWA Team Principal Thomas Strick. “Théo's talent is undisputed. The success he has enjoyed in his burgeoning career speaks for itself.

“We are excited about his debut in Bahrain. In recent years, he has proved several times that he can quickly find his feet in a new series."