Gabriele Minì can’t wait to go racing in his second season in FIA Formula 3, with the Italian driver aiming to avoid repeating the mistakes that plagued his rookie year in the Championship.

Minì returns following a strong debut campaign in the category, one in which he placed seventh in the Standings thanks to his two pole positions and four podiums, including victories in the Budapest Sprint Race and the Monaco Feature event.

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Speaking on his excitement levels on the eve of the 2024 season getting underway, Minì said: “I feel quite ready for it. I can't wait to start. It has been quite long since we did the last race back in Monza and Macau.

“I can't wait to get it started, the testing went pretty well, we found a lot of stuff but it was not always about pace and performance, since we just wanted to see how the car would react to certain things. I think we got pretty good info so we will see how it works out.”

The Italian is returning to a familiar environment in 2024, moving over from Hitech Pulse-Eight to PREMA Racing. Minì shares a strong history with PREMA given that he won the Italian F4 Championship with the team back in 2020.

Minì won two races in his rookie Formula 3 season last year
Minì won two races in his rookie Formula 3 season last year

“It's been really nice,” said the 18-year-old of his return to PREMA. “It's not like going to a new team, it's a team you already know. It's one of the strongest teams in the junior categories, if not the strongest and since I have already been with them it was a really good relationship.

“I also managed to get my same engineer as 2020 back in Formula 4, so it always feels like a family, really nice to work with them, so really happy to be back.”

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Minì will be hoping that working with an engineer with whom he has shared success, and his experience should put him in a better position to avoid the mistakes he made last season, especially in Bahrain.

He qualified on pole and was at one stage on course for victory in the Feature Race. However, a five-second penalty for a starting infringement and a late Safety Car dented his hopes of a podium let alone a win.

“Of course I have more experience,” acknowledged Minì. “All the mistakes I made last year I am trying not to repeat them. We were really strong starting from practice, we were always fighting for the top three and in Qualifying, we managed to do pole.

Minì moves to PREMA for the season after winning the Italian F4 title with the team
Minì moves to PREMA for the season after winning the Italian F4 title with the team

“Hitech was really strong; we did a good job with the lap and with the positioning on track. Unfortunately, in the race, the pace was really strong but the penalty and the Safety Car cost me everything.

“At the end, without the Safety Car we would have still been on the podium, almost P2 but for sure P3. It was not ideal but it's racing. I made a mistake, but now we will start from zero and try to do our best and see how it goes.”

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Minì admits that had he finished on the podium at the Sakhir Feature Race, maybe his approach would have been different for the remainder of the year, and that he would not have had to take as many risks.

Those risks meant he tried too hard and made a lot more mistakes he admits. Had he not, he is confident the 92 points scored would have been more, especially given his pace.

“Last year the mistakes I made were because I was trying to do too much and it was not always ideal,” he explained. “The points we got does not reflect the pace we had.

Minì is aiming to be consistent in the hopes of winning the title
Minì is aiming to be consistent in the hopes of winning the title

“We were pretty much always fighting for the top three, top five. In the first three rounds I got pole positions, a P3 and then in Barcelona I got P6 before the track limits deletion of my time. We fought at the top many times but just didn't manage to convert that into points.”

Minì admits that “last year I wanted to be at the front too much” and while his mindset on that is staying the same, he is now willing to accept not always being fastest. This approach should allow him to score more points a crucial factor in the Championship.

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“If I could choose, I would prefer to be second or third every time, because that's how you try and bring home the Championship,” explained Minì. “It's a lot about consistency.

“My goal is to try and be at the front, but it's not important whether it is P1, P2, P3, P4, or P5. it's better than P1 and then P10, it's something in between. What you want to try to do is be more consistently at the front.”