Gabriel Bortoleto signed off pre-season testing by topping the times for Trident, posting a 1:47.417 on the final day in Sakhir ahead of the season-opening race. While the times are always tricky to read into during testing, the 18-year-old was a satisfied customer after stepping out of the car.

It was the first session he finished inside the top three, but the Brazilian says that he is comfortable with that. After studying the data, there is time being left on the table according to the Trident man. Though he won’t get to log any more laps before the race weekend and start of the F3 season, he says the potential is clear in both him and the car.

READ MORE: Bortoleto fastest on final day of testing for Trident

“It’s a great performance to have on the last day, just to show a bit of potential for both me and the team. We’ve been working very hard over the past three to put everything together and we finally we did it.

“I think we did quite a lot over these three days, and it was very good for preparing for the proper race weekend. Yes, I'm quite happy with the result of today. I was missing being there the top with the other guys and even if I wasn’t in the top three on the previous days, I knew that the pace was there to make it and we showed it today.”

default image

Of course, testing isn’t solely about setting the outright fastest time. Throughout each of the days on track in Bahrain, the grid practiced a plethora of items set out in highly-specified run plans.

Bortoleto says that Trident got through a number of tests that have given both driver and team a lot of confidence going into Round 1 of the year.

“I would say we tested some stuff. I tested some stuff on my race pace and Qualifying things. I cannot tell you specifically the things, but yeah, for sure there’s plenty of things we've been testing this whole three days. I will go home, study it and get it even better for Round 1.

“There’s still things to work on and every session that I was doing in the car, every session I learned new things about the car and about the track as well that I can do better. So yes, I was building up every session. I’ve felt better with each day because it's a new track for me. Even though I felt I learned quite quickly, there is always margin to improve, even after topping the session today.”

Though testing is over, the hard work is just getting started. Along with working with the team back at the Trident factory, he says he will be studying the data at home. Finessing the minute details is something the Brazilian says came with each session in the car.

default image

“As soon as I get back home in Milan, I will go back to the team and into the sim and work on improving the corners that I was missing compared to the reference that we had. There is one or two corners that I need to improve. I need to work on this and for sure as soon as I get back home I will work on these things.”

A chance to log plenty of mileage around the same track he and his rivals will be tackling in just under a fortnight’s time was hugely valuable says Bortoleto.

On a new track and in a relatively new car, the Brazilian says that he had an encouraging week and is eager to get right back to work come March.

“I’m happy with the progress. It's very good for the beginning of the season, we know that this this category is quite tough because it's not every time that you have three days to prepare. Normally it’s 40 minutes for Practice and then you go directly to Qualifying. So having these extra days to prepare everything and to get used to the car again, it's very important.

“It's the first time that I've been in a fast car after many months. Coming in from FRECA, the category is nice and the level is high, but the car it's far from being what the F3 car is. F3 has just amazing downforce and everything - I could be here talking for a days about it. I missed it a lot and I already miss it and that I won’t be driving tomorrow.”