The first weekend of March marked the start not only of the 2023 Formula One season, but also of Formula 2 and 3. The junior categories currently have 4 drivers from Brazil: Enzo Fittipaldi in F2, Caio Collet, Gabriel Bortoleto and Roberto Faria in F3.
Brazilian animation for this season began even before 2023 arrived. Bortoleto led the postseason tests in September of 2022, shortly after it was announced that his career would be managed by two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso. Thus, arriving in Bahrain for pre-season testing the expectation only increased. Gabriel also led these training sessions and arrived for the weekend with all the confidence possible.
The debut of the Brazilian drivers in Bahrain
Friday had the expected result: he led the free practice and was behind only Gabriele Mini in the standings, which earned him a front-row starting position for the Feature Race on Sunday.
Saturday, on the other hand, was not ideal for the driver. He started from P11, due to grid reversal for the Sprint Race. He lost some positions, collided with the Mexican Villagomez. Due to this, he received a punishment of 10 seconds added to his race time and 3 points in his license. For Caio Collet, the Sprint Race was extremely advantageous, because the Brazilian climbed the podium by arriving in 3rd position. Roberto Faria also did not have an easy day, completing the race in 24th position.
The great Brazilian triumph came on Sunday, when, at the start Bortoleto overtook Mini, defending the first position until the intervention of the Safety Car. Soon after the restart the Italian managed to overtake Gabriel, but he had a penalty of 5s to fulfill: all the Brazilian had to do was follow him closely. Thus, when the drivers received the flag, the winner of the race was Gabriel Bortoleto and Brazil heard his anthem on the podium for the first time this year.
Scoring 26 points, Bortoleto now leads the F3 championship, followed by his teammate Oliver Goethe. Caio Collet is in 8th place, having 8 points and Faria in 28th, having no points.