Who is Gabriel Bortoleto, the new FIA F3 champion?

Undisputed leader since the first round in Bahrain, Gabriel Bortoleto confirmed this Friday with the title of FIA F3 champion. Focus on the native of São Paulo, already expected in F2 next year.

Published on 01/09/2023 à 17:52

Jeremy Satis

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Who is Gabriel Bortoleto, the new FIA F3 champion?

Gabriel Bortoleto, leader of the FIA ​​F3 championship. © Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency / DPPI

Champion of regularity

Gabriel Bortoleto has had control of the championship since the first round of the season in Bahrain. Expected among the contenders for the title, surprising given the striking force of the Trident in Formula 3, the 18-year-old, born in 2004, hit the ground running by winning the first two Main Races of the campaign in Sakhir and Melbourne. It was in Australia where he also took his only pole position. A feat which allowed him to already be 20 points ahead of his runner-up at the time Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix).

From then on, the Auriverde was able to ride more calmly and without taking too many risks unlike its opponents who were already forced to push hard after only two meetings. Thus, he applied the method of regularity since he finished 13 times in the points during the first 16 races of the campaign without signing new victories or pole positions since Australia and the return to Europe.

Arriving at Monza with a 38-point lead, Gabriel Bortoleto only had to secure the crown, coming from FRECA where he had never been in a position to challenge for the title. Here he is alongside former champions like Victor Martins (2022), Dennis Hauger (2021), Oscar piastri (2020) and Robert Shwartzman (2019) with a coronation assured from the Friday qualifications!

Gabriel Bortoleto

Gabriel Bortoleto winner in Melbourne. © Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency / DPPI

He is a protégé of Fernando Alonso

With Nikola Tsolov and Pepe Marti, Gabriel Bortoleto is in fact one of the three drivers managed by a certain… Fernando Alonso, or rather by its A14 management structure. Some might imagine that it is only a name for the company, but the Spaniard keeps himself very informed of the results of his foals. During the Brazilian's Main Race victory in Bahrain, the Bull of Asturias came to give him a hug in the Parc Fermé.

“I am very happy for Gabriel because he works a lot and is very disciplined both in the simulator and with the team, underlined the pilot Aston Martin from the Spanish daily Marca. He has a lot of desire and we could already see the speed he had in Formula Regional last year. The jump to F3 is always very important and you never know how you will react, but he has this grit and this talent. 

Gabriel Bortoleto

Gabriel Bortoleto congratulated by Fernando Alonso © DPPI

He is a late bloomer

We therefore really had to wait for Formula 3 to see the Auriverde burst into the limelight. Until then, the young man had not won any title since the start of his career, both in karting whether car, despite a 3rd place at the OK-J European and World Championships in 2018. In single-seaters, however, he has really never been in contention for a title until then.

In 2020, he finished 5th in Italian Formula 4 behind notably Gabriele Mini and Dino Beganovic, two of his teammates at Prema. For the last two years, he played in FRECA, with a 15th place in 2021 at FA Racing, within a mid-table team, before having a much better season with the Vendéens of R-ace GP ( 6th) marked by two victories.

Since the start of his career, the Brazilian seems to be particularly adept in qualifying, regularly showing himself at the front on a lap to the point of having won two of the last four FRECA poles last year. This year, within a Trident team which has been playing at the level of the best for two seasons in F3, he is undoubtedly in the best possible team to seek a first career title.

Gabriel Bortoleto Barcelona FRECA Victory

Gabriel Bortoleto had a very decent season with R-ace GP. © Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency.

He made Brazilian stock cars in 2022

Yes, yes, you read that right! The boy is above all passionate about motorsport, and he did not hesitate before the start of the 2022 season to offer himself a freelance role in Brazilian Stock Car, driving a Chevrolet Cruze with his friend Gaetano Di Mauro, in waiting for the European single-seater season to resume. A technical problem with the car during one of the first braking events somewhat compromised his race, but the Brazilian was still happy to have had this little fun, especially on the legendary Interlagos circuit. In August 2021, he also took part in a Stock Light race, which he won for his very first at the wheel of a GT in Curitiba.

 
 
 
 
 
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Jérémy Satis, with Gonzalo Forbes

Jeremy Satis

Great F1 reporter & passionate about promotional formulas

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