Making his Formula 3 test debut less than 24 hours after the completion of his title-winning Formula Regional European by Alpine campaign in Monza, Grégoire Saucy has quickly gotten to grips with the upgrade in machinery, finishing third on Day 1 in Valencia as the highest placed rookie.

Winning eight times and taking a further two podiums on his way to the title with ART Grand Prix, Saucy has stepped up to F3 testing with the same team and believes that the continuity has helped to make the transition easier.

“I won the title with ART, so I am really, really happy to be here with them, continuing the work that we did together in FRECA,” he said. “Monza is not too hard physically, which helped me as I managed to not use all of my energy up over the weekend, before coming to Valencia.

“At the start of Day 1 here, I needed to adapt to wet conditions and it wasn't so easy to start like that, but in the end, it was easier (to adapt) than I was thinking that it would be.

“The car is so fun to drive, it has huge grip compared to the FRECA cars, it was amazing. The braking was different too, you can brake really late and a lot and that is impressive. I am really happy about finishing as the highest rookie. It is a good first day.”

Doohan puts debutants Van Amersfoort Racing first on Day 1 in Valencia

Saucy finished as the fastest rookie driver on Day 1
Saucy finished as the fastest rookie driver on Day 1

Saucy has been aided by a familiar face in the garage, with 2020 Formula Regional title winner, Victor Martins also testing for ART in Valencia.

Martins was the highest placed rookie in the 2021 F3 season with MP Motorsport and displayed his experience on Day 1 in Valencia with the second-fastest times in both the morning and the afternoon stints, and Saucy says his compatriot has been a big help.

“I will continue to work and to learn while I am here,” Saucy said. “I still need to learn the car and I will see with my teammate what I can do to improve because Victor has already won (a race) in Formula 3 and he knows the car well, so I need to learn from him.

“For sure Victor’s helped me sometimes, but I have been more focused on my side, trying to progress.”