FIA F3 Championship, Sakhir, Race Preview
The new FIA Formula 3 Championship season will be starting this weekend at Bahrain International Circuit. For the first time, Trident Motorsport will field three rookies, all born in 2004. They all impressed in preseason testing and they have the potential needed for an increasingly competitive season performance.
The countdown for the FIA Formula 3 Championship is almost over in Bahrain, as the FIA Formula 3 Championship will kick off its 2023 season at Sakhir International Circuit, hosting the series opener for the second time. Once again there are 10 races on the schedule.
Trident Motorsport will rely on a completely revamped line-up. The Italian squad will field Gabriel Bortoleto, Leonardo Fornaroli and Oliver Goethe. The three Trident Motorsport drivers have similar backgrounds. They are all rookies and were born in the last three months of 2004. Of the three 18-year-olds, Goethe is the only one with some F3 experience, as he contested two weekends in the 2022 championship and even got close to the podium at Spa-Francorchamps. The Dane was also the 2022 Euroformula Open Champion with 11 wins and 18 podiums.
Gabriel Bortoleto, a native of São Paulo, Brazil, has two years of experience in Formula Regional European, in which he finished sixth in 2022 with two wins and five podiums. He also achieved the fourth-fastest lap time in the F3 preseason tests last February at Sakhir
Leonardo Fornaroli comes from only one season in the Formula Regional European Championship with Trident Motorsport. He had an impressive year and captured eighth place overall, which led to the promotion to F3. In 2021, the Italian competed in the Italian Formula 4 championship, grabbing one win, seven podiums, and a fifth-place finish at the end of the series. Fornaroli experienced outstanding growth in preseason testing and a relevant learning curve is expected from him. Like F2, the FIA Formula 3 Championship will retain a 2-race weekend format. The Sprint Race will be on Saturday, while the Feature Race, the main one, will be contested on Sunday.
Giacomo Ricci, Team Manager: "We are set for the start of a new season featuring an all-rookie line-up for the first time. I expect a significant progression it terms of the learning curve throughout the season. The year will bring a key challenge for us: there is great promise, and while there will be a lot of work to be done, there is plenty of room for growth a. It is always very motivating to work with rookies who have so much to learn. The preseason test was positive, but some of the elements will become clear only in the first round of the season when everyone will have to show their true value. Bortoleto already showed maturity and impressed us with how he naturally achieved a good level of performance. Fornaroli highlighted a steady growth over the three days of testing and displayed a convincing pace, while Goethe tried different solutions and carried out a remarkable work program. There is great chemistry within the team. We fully carried out our development plan, and are confident ahead of the start of the season."
The FIA Formula 3 Championship will begin with free practice at 10:55 on Friday, while qualifying will be later the same day at 16:00. The Sprint race will be at 12:15, followed by the Feature Race at 11:50 on Sunday. All the action will be broadcasted live by the Sky Sports F1 network. Times are local, two hours ahead of Central European Time.