Sauber Academy driver Théo Pourchaire has thanked Alfa Romeo for the "best hour of my life" after completing the team's second required rookie FP1 session at the United States Grand Prix.
The Frenchman, second in the F2 standings this year, took over Valtteri Bottas' car for the first hour of running at the Circuit of the Americas, finishing 18th fastest as he got to grips with F1 machinery.
Pourchaire, the youngest driver in attendance at the age of only 19, will have only the one appearance this year after Alfa Romeo successfully contested that Zhou Guanyu completed the first rookie run on debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Reacting to his first outing on an F1 weekend, the ART F2 driver said: “It’s been an amazing experience, the best hour of my life and I am so grateful to the team for the trust they’ve put in me.
"Discovering this track was incredible and the car is just something special: I have been through lots of emotions and I’m just so happy right now.
"My main target was to help the team and I was pleased to be able to do so: we had a good session, did quite a few laps and everyone was satisfied, so it’s a good start of the weekend.
"I tried to push a bit at the end, but my focus was mostly on understanding everything about the car, the steering wheel and so on.
"I would like to thank Alfa Romeo for this opportunity: it’s been a very intense experience, I enjoyed every minute of it and tried to learn as much as I could from the car and the team around me.”