F3: Five Takeaways from the Bahrain Grand Prix

Formula 3 - Trident's Gabriel Bortoleto winning the F3 Feature Race in Bahrain.

The first round of the 2023 Formula 3 season has finished. With plenty of talking points about the weekend, let’s delve in.

The opening round of the Formula 3 season didn’t disappoint as there were plenty of talking points to be discussed. Here are five key takeaways from the weekend.

1 – Starting procedure issues

Several drivers finished the two races with time penalties due to starting grid infractions. The biggest impact landed on Gabriele Mini who lost the Feature Race win after receiving a five-second time penalty. If Mini and others are hoping to have better weekends in the future, they must ensure that they and their teams follow the starting procedures correctly.

2 – Pepe Marti’s a title contender

After finishing 25th in the standings on two points with Campos for the 2021 F3 season, Pepe Marti came into the season hoping for more. The Spaniard delivered by winning the Sprint Race and moving up through the field on Sunday to finish sixth in the Feature.

3 – Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto leading the way

The Brazilian rookie found himself in strong form headed into qualifying as he had topped the morning practice session. Bortoleto qualified second for the Feature Race and was locked in an intense battle throughout the race with Mini before the Italian’s penalty left Borteleto cruising to the checkered flag. With Borteleto’s win, he is now the championship leader with 26 points.

4 – Trident’s dominating the Team Standings

Despite it only being the opening round of the season, Trident Racing already hold a 24 lead over rivals PREMA as they secured a 1-2 finish during the Feature Race with Borteleto and Oliver Goethe. The team’s third driver, Leonardo Fornaroli secured eight points in the Sprint.

5 – Tight championship battle

Despite Bortoleto taking the lead, the top seven in the championship are separated by just 16 points in this early part of the season. Drivers can pick up a maximum of 39 points over a race weekend so its all still to play for with nine rounds left.

F3 Drivers Championship standings

  1. Gabriel Bortoleto (Trident) – 26 points
  2. Oliver Goethe (Trident) – 23 points
  3. Dino Beganovic (PREMA) – 22 points
  4. Pepe Marti (Campos Racing) – 19 points
  5. Gregorie Saucy (ART Grand Prix) – 16 points

F3 Team Championship Standings

  1. Trident Racing – 52 points
  2. PREMA Powerteam – 28 points
  3. ART Grand Prix – 22 points
  4. Campos Racing – 19 points
  5. Hitech Pulse-Eight – 19 points

There is less than a month to go till the second round of the championship begins in Melbourne, Australia. A brand-new track for the series means a brand-new challenge for these young drivers.

Formula Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited