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Five takeaways from the Formula 3 pre-season test

F3 Testing - BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 14: Gregoire Saucy of Switzerland and ART Grand Prix (8) drives on track during day one of Formula 3 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 14, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

With Formula 3 pre-testing now finished, let’s take a look at the five takeaways that we gathered over the three days.

With less than two weeks to go till the first round of the 2023 Formula 3 season, teams and drivers participated in pre-season testing as a way to prepare their cars going into the first race. Here are the five F3 takeaways from the three days of testing in Bahrain.

1. Gregorie Saucy is a title contender

ART Grand Prix driver Gregorie Saucy will be entering his second season in Formula 3 with the French-based team after making his debut last year. The Swiss driver finished 15th in the standings far behind his teammate and eventual champion Victor Martins. During testing Saucy topped three sessions and remained in the top three during the remaining two – strong evidence that both the car and driver are ready to challenge.  We won’t have to wait for long to see if testing was a true indication of his pace.

2. Luke Browning impresses for Hitech Pulse-Eight

With Hitech still being the only team on the grid to not have completed its lineup, the team opted to give 2022 GB3 Champion Luke Browning a go as he occupied their third seat for the three days. The 21-year-old Brit already showcased his talents with the team last season as he dominated the championship with five wins and eight more podiums to win by 47 points. During testing, Browning utilized his chance clocking in the most laps during the first session, and found himself in the top seven on three occasions. With little time left for a decision to be made, will Hitech stick with Browning?

3. PREMA’s woes

Italian giants PREMA are the 2022 Team Champions, having won the title three times since the series’ inception in 2019. However, during testing, the team seemed to lack pace compared to its rivals – especially during race simulations. With a strong lineup in Dino Beganovic, Paul Aron, and Zak O’Sullivan, can the team bounce back in time?

4. Battle of the Rookies

With 17 rookies (18 if Browning is added) on the Formula 3 grid, they are chasing the coveted title of rookie of the year as many of them found themselves in the top ten on a few occasions. With new drivers such as Formula Regional Champion Beganovic and F4 Spanish Champion Nikola Tsolov on the grid, it looks like a tough fight.

5. Taylor Barnard shines for Jenzer Motorsport

The British rookie continuously impressed with Jenzer Motorsport with the team not having much luck during the campaign. Having recently just claimed second in the Formula Regional Middle Eastern Championship, Barnard found himself in the top ten on three occasions. Crucially, he was the only Jenzer driver to do so on two occasions.

What were your main F3 takeaways from the 3 pre-season tests? Who’s your title contender?

Formula Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited


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