Stepping onto the Road to F1 for the very first time can be a daunting prospect for a young driver, but MP Motorsport’s Caio Collet believes the rookies will be aided by the familiarity of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, having tested at the Spanish track less than two weeks ago.
Making the jump up from Formula Renault Eurocup as vice-champion, Collet quickly got to grips with the more powerful machinery, going quickest in the opening pre-season test at Spielberg.
But it was the stint in Barcelona - where he was a regular in the top 10 - that the Alpine junior feels was most beneficial, handing him a chance to get a feel for the Round 1 circuit in the F3 car ahead of time.
“It feels quite fresh in my head in terms of what I have to do,” he explained. “I feel really confident going into Free Practice and Qualifying. After the tests, we were able to go away and analyse the information that we had, so I think we are ready to go. We did a really good job in both tests and our race pace felt strong.
“In F3, you can really smash the brakes with all of the power in your legs and that’s really nice. Being able to go into corners at your maximum feels really good. You can carry a lot of speed.
“A race weekend will be different though. You arrive in Qualifying, and you only have one lap to put everything together and that will be more challenging. You really have to adapt quickly to the conditions.”
As a member of the Alpine Academy, Collet has the perfect example to follow in fellow junior and 2020 F3 champion Oscar Piastri, although the Brazilian insists he won’t be leaning on the Australian too heavily.
“I have spoken to Oscar a bit because we live together,” he continued. “We have a good relationship, but I think in the end it is down to yourself and what you do on a weekend.”