Gabriel Bortoleto is competing in the penultimate round of the FIA F3 at Spa-Francorchamps

Gabriel Bortoleto is competing in the penultimate round of the FIA F3 at Spa-Francorchamps

The Brazilian driver could become champion this Sunday

Three days after leaving Budapest, Hungary, the FIA F3 circus is already fully set up at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, where the ninth and penultimate round of the 2023 season will take place this weekend, from July 28 to 30.

Currently leading the standings with 144 points, 18-year-old Brazilian driver, Gabriel Bortoleto, will have his first opportunity to secure the title this Sunday, with one round to spare. Bortoleto has been leading the Championship since the first weekend of the season and is very excited and ready to face yet another significant challenge in his successful career.

To clinch the championship this weekend, however, Gabriel will have to unravel the secrets of the longest and most challenging track on the calendar. The Spa-Francorchamps circuit, one of the most iconic in the motorsport world, has a length of 7,004 meters and features 19 corners. The main characteristic of the track is its extremely high speed, coupled with significant differences in altitude throughout different sections of the circuit. In F3, the current record is 2m05s125 set in 2019 by driver Jehan Daruvala (IND) with an impressive average speed of 201.5 km/h. This weekend, the Sprint Race, to be held on Saturday, will last for 12 laps (84.04 km), and the Feature Race on Sunday will consist of 15 laps (105.05 km).

Despite the chance of leaving Belgium with the season title, Bortoleto remains very focused on his commitments for this weekend’s race and, thus, avoids thinking about the championship. “I can’t forget the possibility of leaving here as champion. However, I try to avoid thinking about it as much as possible. My team and I have done exactly the same preparation we have carried out throughout the whole year, whether it is in the simulator, physical training, or mentally. I tried to keep my routine as calm as possible, and during this short break from Hungary until now, I tried to rest a lot during my free moments. I really like the Spa track; last year, I won a race here in FRECA, and my team, Trident, has an excellent record with F3 cars. We will work on developing the equipment and, also take into account the forecast of rain for the entire weekend. Our goal is 100% focused on extracting the maximum from myself and the equipment during the weekend, and if everything goes well, the early title conquest will be a natural outcome,” explained the driver from São Paulo.

As in all rounds of the season, the official FIA F3 schedule will begin on Friday with free practice and qualifying. On Saturday, the Sprint Race will take place with the top 12 fastest drivers in the classification starting with an inverted grid.

On Sunday, the Feature Race will be held. The entire schedule will be broadcasted live on the subscription channel Band Sports.

Check out the official weekend schedule (Brasília Time):

Friday (July 28)

04:55 – 05:40 | Free Practice

10:00 – 10:30 | Qualifying

Saturday (July 29)

05:00 – 05:40 | Sprint Race

Sunday (July 30)

03:30 – 04:25 | Feature Race

Pictures: James Gasperotti | KTF Sports

Press office of KTF Sports

Responsible journalist: Flávio Quick