On the weekend in which Gabriel Bortoleto could seal the 2023 FIA Formula 3 Drivers’ Championship title, the Brazilian is keeping laser-focused on the present rather than thinking about what might be.
The Trident driver arrives at Spa-Francorchamps with a 43-point advantage over closest rival Zak O’Sullivan. Should he lead the Standings by 40 points after Sunday’s Feature Race, he would be crowned this season’s Champion.
Perhaps there’s no better place to be for Bortoleto this weekend than Spa-Francorchamps, a venue in which Trident have been victorious around the last four years in F3. Rather than feel the title pressure, he says that the team’s form here is a huge mental boost going into the weekend.
“I’m feeling very good, it’s a track that Trident have always been on top at in the last four years, and I’m very confident. The car is looking good along with myself as well. The team is confident so let’s see how things go on Sunday.
“It’s the best thing I can have, knowing that my team has won here the last four years. It shows that it’s not lucky, it’s consistency. It shows they are capable of making the car work here every year. It’s the main thing of Trident, they’ve been very consistent this year so I can’t wait to be racing.”
Turning attentions to the race weekend at hand, Bortoleto says that the approach doesn’t change despite what could be at stake come Sunday. A clean Friday is vital according to the Championship leader, who has made a habit of hitting the ground running in 2023.
Of course with it being Spa-Francorchamps, the threat of rain is never far away and for Bortoleto, it wouldn’t be the worst thing if conditions were made tougher on both race days.
“We start with Friday, FP and Qualifying and that’s the most important part of the weekend, making sure you start from the front. The weather conditions are quite crazy, it’s raining and then it stops raining and raining again, so we never know how things will go. We will try to maximise everything to be Champion at the end of Sunday.
“I think the weather can affect a lot over the course of the weekend. As a rookie, I’ve not driven so much in the wet, I had one or two days in the wet maybe, so it’s difficult to say. Normally I like to drive in the wet, they’re conditions that make it tricky and you need to be careful but at the same time, take the necessary risks. I’m looking forwards and I hope it does rain, then I can have some fun.”
Focusing back on what might be a momentous day on Sunday, the Trident driver maintains that there’s no point thinking that the job will be done. Keeping his mentality the same for this weekend as he has done at every previous round is the goal, and the approach that put him in a Championship-winning position in the first place.
“My main thing is not thinking about winning the Championship. I don’t think about winning the Championship, but I think if I can do a great race, that will probably make me with the Championship. I never put that as the target because things can change very quickly and as soon as you do a bad weekend, everyone is closer together. I would say I’m focused on doing what Trident have done at Spa the last four years and let’s see how things go. I’m looking forward to being on top and doing a great weekend.”