We’re in the Southern Hemisphere for Round 2 of the FIA Formula 3 season and Melbourne will be no walk in the park for any of the 30 drivers. The Australian circuit features four DRS zones and is faster than ever after changes ahead of Formula 1's return last year.

Who will master the Albert Park circuit the quickest and who will be the first winner in Australia in Formula 3?

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It’s very early in the season but, looking back at Round 1 and there are some clear talking points heading into the second race weekend of 2023. Trident have started the year in the front foot and then some, taking a one-two finish in the Sakhir Feature Race with Gabriel Bortoleto leading Oliver Goethe across the line in Bahrain. The Italian outfit leads the Teams’ Standings on 52 points, 24 clear of PREMA Racing in P2.

Bortoleto’s victory in the Feature means the Italian driver is top of the Drivers’ Championship on 26 points ahead of Goethe on 23, and things remain close behind. Dino Beganovic was consistent with P4 and P3 in the Sprint and Feature Races respectively, and the Swede is on 22.

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Grégoire Saucy was lightning quick in testing, but the Swiss didn’t have the pace to fight for victory in the first race weekend of the season. His ART Grand Prix team proved quick but will have been hoping for more, heading to Melbourne fourth in the Teams’ Standings.

Josep María Martí was the first Sprint Race winner of the year as Campos Racing made a strong start to 2023. The team is fourth in the Teams’ Standings but the Spanish outfit looked very competitive in Bahrain, beyond their results on paper. In Melbourne, Hugh Barter and Christian Mansell will be extra motivated to achieve strong results in front of the Australian fans at home.


Gabriele Minì lost the Sakhir Feature Race before it had even begun, lining up incorrectly on the grid and getting a five-second time penalty for the infringement. A tough start to F3 life but what cannot be denied is the Italian’s pure speed. He was electric in Qualifying, and the team feels it is an early strength of both him and his teammates, Luke Browning and Sebastián Montoya. Browning put in a stellar comeback effort on Sunday for his first points of the season and Montoya made it three Hitech Pulse-Eight cars in the top 10, the only team to achieve points with all cars in a single race in Bahrain.

Elsewhere, Franco Colapinto will be hoping to build on P2 from the Sakhir Sprint with MP Motorsport, whilst PREMA teammates Paul Aron and Zak O’Sullivan will be looking to complete a clean weekend to maximise their potential for Round 2.


FROM THE GRID – Paul Aron, PREMA Racing

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"Like everybody I'm super excited to be in Australia and racing in Melbourne! The circuit is a one of a kind, it's a city track but it's super high speed and on top of that it has four DRS zones which no other track has. It will take some time to get used to the track and it will definitely need a lot of confidence and bravery to be fast here.

“The four DRS zones should create a lot of racing opportunities but I think the main areas for overtaking will be into Turn 3, after the DRS zone, and into Turns 9, 10 and 13. It's going to be a lot about setting up the overtake, I don't think there will be many straight up opportunities but if you play your cards right you will be able to use the DRS zones to your advantage and make some moves.

“I don't think that tyre degradation will be a massive concern at Albert Park. The track is quite low deg and we are running with the hard compound tyres so I don't think it will be that big of an issue, especially coming from Bahrain which supposedly has the highest degradation of the whole year. I think people will be pushing flat out a bit more and we should get a few more laps in Qualifying so that will definitely mix things up.

“In Bahrain, I don't think we maximized our potential, but we showed it, so I'm coming into this weekend quite positive and confident. I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the F3 car, racing around the streets of Melbourne and delivering good results!“


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The white-walled Pirelli hard compound tyres will be in action this weekend and provide drivers with a tricky balancing act to manage. Ensuring the temperatures are consistent across the front and rear axles will be key to being fast around the Albert Park circuit, but the task isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. With it being a street circuit, the smoothness of the track surface makes finding grip tough for drivers but, by the same token, that should eliminate any concerns about tyre degradation playing a big role this weekend.

Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director

“It’s great to see both support championships in Australia for the first time, so under these circumstances, the Formula 3 drivers will face many of the same challenges as their counterparts in Formula 2. One of the most important of those will be track evolution, and the ability to find the right setup despite grip levels that are constantly changing. Like Formula 2, both practice and qualifying are held on Friday, and the race conditions might be quite different. As F3 races need to be run without pitstops, the P Zero White hard that we have nominated – as already used for round one in Bahrain – will allow the young drivers to push hard and discover the limits of the circuit, while still requiring some degree of management.”


  • Two drivers, Josep María Martí and Gabriel Bortoleto, collected maiden wins last time out in Sakhir, taking the total number of race winners on the grid to five.
  • For five out of six of Bahrain’s podium finishers, it was their first time ending on an F3 rostrum. Just one, Franco Colapinto, had previously claimed a podium finish. Caio Collet and Franco Colapinto both have two wins to their names and are just two short of equalling the all-time record for victories in the third tier. The current record is held jointly by Frederik Vesti, Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan.
  • Josep María Martí’s win in the Feature Race was Campos’ third victory in Formula 3, the Spanish team has collected one win in each of the previous two seasons.
  • Almost half of the grid, 14 drivers, scored points in the opening round of the season at the Bahrain International Circuit.
  • Josep María Martí is the first driver to win a race in the #23 car in the modern era of FIA Formula 3.
  • Only one team has successfully gone on to win the Championship after leading at the end of Round 1, PREMA Racing converted their Round 1 advantage to the title in both 2019 and 2020.


  • With the addition of Albert Park to the calendar Formula 3 will race on three continents for the first time in its five-year history.
  • Melbourne is one of two new venues which debut on the F3 calendar this year, alongside Monte Carlo, Monaco. The two street tracks are the first to ever feature on the third tiers rostrum.
  • Speaking about the addition of Australia to the calendar, Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel said, “it shows that more and more circuits believe that F2 and F3 are an added value to the Formula 1 Grand Prix experience, showcasing the next generation of drivers.