Enjoying his first days back at the ART Grand Prix factory ahead of the 2023 Formula 3 season, Grégoire Saucy believes his decision to stick with the French team will give him the best possible chance to fight for the title in his second F3 campaign.
Climbing up the ranks through Formula Renault Eurocup, the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine and up to F3, the Swiss driver is entering his fourth consecutive year as part of the ART fold. Benefitting from the familiar environment, Saucy says that their close working relationship will be key to developing himself further after a challenging rookie showing.
“I’m really excited to continue the collaboration with ART for a second year in FIA F3, I learned a lot last year,” said Saucy. “I started well in Bahrain and in Imola, but with a bit of bad luck in Race 2. The season was good I would say and now I will take all that I learned during the year to prepare as much as possible for this season.
“It’s always good as I know how they work, so ART is like a family. We are always really close together; I think it can be good because we’ve known each other for four years and we will push each other.”
Starting off strongly with a podium finish at the opening round in Sakhir, the 2022 campaign saw him demonstrate the pace to be fighting regularly on the fringes of the top 10. However, he would struggle to secure points on a consistent basis, netting only three further points-scoring finishes in the Budapest, Zandvoort and Monza Sprint Races.
Acknowledging that the limited running was a challenge for him to get up to speed with the new machinery, Saucy’s determined to make the most of any mileage available and says he’s identified his main weaknesses to address during the crucial pre-season period.
“I learnt that it’s important to finish each race, which I didn’t do last year, but I know that we had the pace. Also, to understand the car because we don’t have many tests at some tracks. For example, when I arrive at Silverstone, we have only one FP session, which means we have only three or four push laps before Qualifying. So, you need to know the car perfectly.”
He added: “I’m training a lot physically and mentally during the winter. Physically, I missed some small things during last year, for example the neck. So, I’m continuing to work a lot on the neck and mentally to review all that I can improve. I’ll continue to work with the team and in the simulator to prepare as much as possible.”
Having seen former teammate Victor Martins bring home ART’s first Drivers’ title in F3 last season, Saucy knows first-hand what it takes to fight at the front. Lining up alongside the experienced Kaylen Frederick and rookie Nikola Tsolov this year, the 23-year-old’s target remains unchanged – to be in the Championship battle a second time around.
“Of course, when you start in a Championship, you want to win it. I had this objective last year, but it didn’t go like I wanted it to. You need to go into it with winning in your mind. This year we’ll go for the win and I’m sure we will have the possibility to do it.”