ART Grand Prix is gearing up to go again this year with two-thirds of the 2023 line-up new to the team. Kaylen Fredrick and Nikola Tsolov join Grégoire Saucy for what the French team hopes will be another title-winning season.

The benchmark left by Victor Martins and his Drivers’ Championship success means the expectations are already high. Yet, with the team yet to claim the Formula 3 crown, everyone within ART is hoping that this is finally the year they can secure a title sweep.

For Saucy, his start to 2023 could hardly have been stronger, topping three consecutive sessions across days one and two of pre-season testing. He was confident that the experience with ART from last season combined with more confidence in the car would show early doors, and after stepping out of the car he said as much in Sakhir.

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“I tried to start quite fast, to be directly up there…we know what we can improve but I think the peak performance is there. We can always improve it, but it's good to start like this.”

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His teammates echoed those sentiments, with both Frederick and Tsolov believing that the three days in Bahrain were positive in terms of progress. From day one to three, the gains made were already tangible for the drivers and a boost heading into the opening round of the season.

For the latter, his arrival to the team as a rookie has been a smooth process so far following his post-season testing appearance in Jerez last year and in Bahrain in ’23.

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“I’m feeling confident with the work we have done with the team,” the Bulgarian said following testing. “Also, knowing that we are around the top 10 – it's definitely a good place to start the first race.

“We mostly focused on our performance in the short runs with new tyres, which is what we had to focus on after the test in Jerez and we definitely showed good progress. The things I have to work on are putting everything together, I was able to put some good sectors in, but it means nothing if it’s not in one lap.”

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Alongside them both in the garage, Frederick was also making positive noises after stepping out of the car. The American’s initial feelings, particularly with the underlying pace right out of the box was encouraging.

Such was the smoothness of the test, he says the ART team was able to trial a multitude of set-ups, fly though run plans without trouble and identify strengths and areas for improvement ahead of Round 1.

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Being in that position is a huge boost according to Frederick. He added that with the baseline established early on and with all three drivers happy with what they have underneath them, finessing the final details is the focus for the opening race weekend.

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“I’m feeling pretty confident after the tests. We’ve got a strong car, which showed with all three cars being in the top 10 or 12 for the majority of the test. I’m feeling pretty good – we tried loads of things and got the car in a nice window and went through all the processes we need to. We’re ready going into the first race weekend of the year.

“The biggest things that we were working on were the race runs. We did quite a few race runs, we were just trying a few different approaches, setup changes and whatnot to see what worked and what didn’t.

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“So, I think we’ve got a handle on what to do going into the race weekend. Just looking over that and the things we were trying, finding the best combination for the car and for what we were doing with ourselves and the settings on the car during the race runs, to make sure we have the best package going into the race weekend.”