Leading the way in the Drivers’ Championship since the opening round in Sakhir, Gabriel Bortoleto has already made a big impression in his rookie Formula 3 season.
With the support of his family carrying him through, the Trident driver looks back on those that have helped him get to where he is today and continue to spur him on to even greater heights.
“When I started working with him, I saw how much dedication and effort he puts into the sport. I’ve learned a lot from working with him and I pushed myself a lot more to improve and grow after I understood how important it is to put in the effort like he does. This was a change in my mindset that I think is paying off now.
“It all started with a conversation last year and then at the end of the year, we had a deal to work together and I started to talk to Fernando. I met him in person for the first time at his karting track just before Christmas and it was nice. We spent two to three days together there doing karting, going to the gym, padel and a lot of stuff. In the moments, I realised a lot about the effort he puts in.
“It was amazing to have his support when I got on the podium in Bahrain. To have someone that is a two-time F1 World Champion and is someone that I admire a lot being at the podium and congratulating me for what I’d just achieved. That for me was a dream, to win a race on my debut. I think it was the perfect day and one of, if not, the best day of my life being there on the podium and seeing Fernando, my parents and everyone there was amazing.
“The biggest thing I’ve learnt from him is to never give up and always give your best in everything that you do. Whether it’s motorsport or even just playing football or padel, you should give your best.”
“From the beginning, they were the first ones to support me in the sport and give me the opportunity to race. At the beginning, it was just for fun like every other kid, but after that they supported me to move to Europe without them when I was 11 years old. It’s a difficult decision for a family to let the kid move when they’re young, but they trusted me and they put in a lot of dedication to get me to where I am today.
“The first time I got into karting was around October or end of September 2011. I remember it was a very little baby kart all in blue and my brother was there with me and it all started because I saw him driving. I loved it straightaway and after that, I never went more than two to three weeks without driving something. That was my first time karting and I can’t forget about that day, it was amazing.
“Racing was something surprising to them because they were never in motorsports before. My father was not a racing driver, but he always loved it and my mother did as well. When I started racing, straightaway they were always at my races and I think they like me to be there and seeing me happy as well.
“It was difficult moving away from my family, but I was just a kid that had a dream. Honestly, F1 was too far away still, but I always wanted to be an F1 driver and be like them. I had this on my mind, so I think it helped me quite a lot to not think about how far away I was from my family. I never struggled with that and I lived with family, not my actual family, but they became that because I lived with them for seven years.”
GIANCARLO TININI & FRANCISCO DI MAURO
“One person that I’ve spent a lot of time with in my life is Giancarlo, he was my boss in karting and is the owner of CRG. I remember that I spent most of my time in CRG talking with him about the drivers that had passed through his hands throughout the years. He taught me a lot, most of the things that I knew in karting came from him. Also, in the family that I lived with when I moved to Europe when I was 11 was Francisco. He was always with me and taught me about racing as well, so that was great.
“Giancarlo was the one that shaped me the most because he pushed me quite a lot to have the personality that I have today on track. He always taught me what he thought was the best thing for a driver to make them complete. I know I’m not the perfect driver and I don’t think one exists, but he tried to make me become more like one.
“He worked with Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg and a lot of karting legends that almost went into F1 and he took a bit from all these guys and told me his stories. I was curious and asked, ‘how can I be like them one day?’ He was like for sure, but I’d need to do this. Then, I went to the track and tried to do the same.”