Théo Pourchaire unveiled his new helmet for Round 5 of the Formula 2 Championship at a place he remembers fondly – Monte Carlo. A Monaco masterclass in last season’s Feature Race ended in triumph to achieve his maiden F2 victory and break the record for the youngest driver to win in the Championship’s history at only 17-years-old.
We caught up with the Frenchman to get the lowdown on his latest design, the unusual superstition behind his favourite number and why his team ART Grand Prix are enjoying the updated look.
“It's my first special helmet, I’ve never had one before in F2 or Formula 3,” he noted. "The design is almost the same, with my initials on the side. I’m always (keeping) the flag, but right now it's the Monégasque flag on the helmet. My #21 is still on the top, but the colours have changed a bit. No yellow for this weekend!
“It's a big change because yellow is one of my favourite colours and I've been using it for a long time throughout my racing career. Right now, it's the white and red of Monaco, with a bit of carbon black details, which looks very good. I really like this helmet.
"I won here last year and for me it was so important to do a special helmet. Also, because it's Monaco – it’s the most beautiful race, the most legendary one and it's only once a year. I had a great idea to go with Monaco’s colours and it's the same colours as my team ART, so it matches quite well and I'm very happy. All the team likes it because they’re good colours.”
Yet despite racing with the number 10 on his car due to ART’s Championship position last season, Pourchaire’s decided to stick his lucky number 21 on all his helmets instead.
“It's a long story, but I'm a bit superstitious and 21 follows me everywhere – like when I look at my phone it's always 21:00. It’s difficult to explain, I see this number everywhere. It's the same for my father and sister, so I decided to choose that number, even though in F2 I'm racing with the number 10 because of our position in the Championship. 21 will always be on my helmet. Now it's on the top, but I remember in F3, it was just on the back using little stickers.”
It seems he’s gotten the bug for limited edition helmets. With the return of his home race in Paul Ricard in July, Pourchaire’s already getting plans together to celebrate it.
“It's very nice to have Paul Ricard on the F2 calendar. I'm really excited to drive there and I've already thought about doing a special helmet - a very French helmet – with the blue, white, and red. It's far away so I have time to think about that. Now, let's focus on Monaco and enjoy this beautiful weekend.”