The team’s 2023 campaign is best encapsulated by a rainy Sunday morning at Spa-Francorchamps as Jenzer Motorsport defied expectations to secure Feature Race victory.

Not only that, but they also had another car on the podium and their third driver inside the top four for an historic result for the team. For Team Principal Andreas Jenzer, it was a hugely proud day and one that stood out in the team’s 30-year history.

Celebrating that anniversary in 2023, Jenzer Motorsport enjoyed its most competitive and best result in FIA Formula 3 campaign to date. For Jenzer, that is down to a harmonious and hugely ambitious team.

“If someone told me at the start of the season that we’d be fighting for podiums and P6 in the Teams’ Championship, I’d have signed and taken it straight away.

“We had our line-up decided early and that was a big deal. We were able to start working and sorting out the working relationship over the winter. It was quite a big jump from Formula 4 for Taylor (Barnard) and Nikita (Bedrin), and it was a tough one for them. We only had three test days in Jerez and that was it. We were pretty happy with how we started and how the team glued together quite fast.

“I’m very proud. We did it with three rookie drivers with a huge lack of track knowledge. The whole of Jenzer Motorsport in 2023 worked very well, from the simulator preparations, the way the engineers collaborated with the drivers worked out very well. There was never arguing within the team, we were all moving in the same direction.

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“From my side, up until 2015 I was still engineering myself, so I know how the engineers speak and how the drivers feel. I was a driver a long, long time ago so I can see the mindset of both the drivers and engineers. And it was a pleasure this year to see the team stick together.

“We never had to discuss a lot of things that went wrong, just worked to get better. That’s it. There was no arguing, only moving forward and that was very nice to see. I live for motorsport, and it was our 30th anniversary this year, running since 1993 and I have not seen many times before the team working so close and well with the drivers for such a complete season.”

READ MORE: Barnard: ‘Hard work and growing confidence was the recipe for 2023 turnaround’

It was a long journey to get to Spa as race winners, but the signs of competitiveness were there from the outset. Strong pace in Sakhir was unfortunately squandered after track limits violations for both Taylor Barnard and Nikita Bedrin, that left the team down the grid despite their promising speed.

The flyaway rounds paired with the relative inexperience in the Jenzer driver line-up meant it wasn’t until the Championship returned to familiar ground in Europe that they began making step-by-step improvements.

“In Bahrain we showed that the speed was there and, I don’t want to call it luck because track limits is a mistake, but we showed that we were capable of being in the top 10 and fighting for points. Track limits hit two of the drivers, but the speed was there and in Melbourne too.

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“The more experienced drivers had a bit of an easier time, it’s a street track. Drivers who did Monaco, Pau – that helped them a bit, but our drivers never raced there.

“But then we came back to Europe, had a great test in Barcelona and Imola and, sadly for us, Imola got cancelled because I think we would have done a great result there. We saw the tendency of our drivers, both Taylor and Nikita, they’d only raced in Europe.

“They knew it a little bit from testing and from the simulator, but they’d never raced on a lot of the tracks in 2023. That hurt us in Barcelona. We qualified very well but after, we didn’t adapt to the tyre situation very well and lost some good points there.”

READ MORE: F3 Explained: What happens between the final race and post-season testing?

While tyre management in the races proved to be an Achilles’ Heel in the early rounds of the campaign, it was a major factor in Bedrin securing the team’s first podium result of the year.

With the new Pirelli medium compound a struggle to handle for most, the Jenzer driver starred from reverse grid pole despite losing the lead late on to a resurgent Gabriele Minì. It was interesting to Jenzer that it was Bedrin and not Barnard who appeared on the rostrum first, and he believes it made the British driver even more competitive in the remaining races.

“We worked better and better together as the year went on and got the first podium with Nikita in Budapest. And I think that changed Taylor’s approach a bit. Taylor was usually the quicker guy, but his teammate took the first podium. This turned him around a bit and made him even stronger.

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“FIA F3 is the most competitive Championship in the world for me. It’s such a well organised Championship and for me, it’s amazing. All the best drivers are passing through there and fighting and driving hard. We can be really, really proud, the whole team. From the middle to the end of the season, we were competing for points and were regulars on the podium.”

That mid-season moment of turnaround came not courtesy of luck or an unlocking of setup pace or even the first podium of ’23, but rather a mindset change. Bedrin’s Budapest podium was the byproduct, not the catalyst for Jenzer’s resurgence in the mid-to-late phase of the campaign according to the team’s boss.

The attitudes and motivation of the team’s drivers, mechanics and engineers fuelled the fire and Bedrin’s podium only stoked the flames that pushed the team to ever-higher levels of performance.

READ MORE: In Profile: Nikita Bedrin

“Budapest was a turning point but for me it was the mindset. I would say it was a bit of a mindset thing from everybody. It’s a normal situation in a team, young drivers coming up from Formula 4, you’re quick there, thousands of kilometres of driving and testing. Drivers from there have a mindset of it will be ok.

“If you think it will be ok, it’s Sunday and the second race is finished and there’s no result. Taylor was always amazingly fast right away from Free Practice, but I think he started putting everything together. His driving style and engineers adapted very well the way they were working.”

Spa was of course the high point for Jenzer in 2023, adapting to difficult track conditions that caught the very best out to capitalise and secure victory.

While the Championship contenders agonised and tried their best to pre-empt conditions, for Andreas Jenzer and his three drivers, it was actually quite simple on Sunday.

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“I’ve been in this Championship since GP3, day one in 2010. I said to the drivers and engineers before the race, never has a driver made it into the top three by changing tyres in the races. Always the top three were finishing with the tyres they started on.

“We had a good look at the weather situation, the race was one and a half hours earlier than the Saturday race so the track temperature was massively colder than the day before, 10 degrees cooler if I remember right.

“Plus, there was a little bit of mist out there so for me, the drivers were told to keep an eye on things coming to the grid and we planned with Nikita and Alex (Garcia) to go for wets. When Taylor arrived on the grid, he said wet tyres as well.

“He was the first car on wets on the grid. In the race there was the Safety Car and Paul Aron stopped, it was the time to stop if you wanted to, but that’s when I said on the pit wall ‘remember what I said’. We stayed out and it paid off.

“Even in the race would have gone another three or four laps, we would’ve had the top three result. We calculated it. We would have had the two on the podium, but we were never in doubt about the wet tyres paying off.”

The team is well underway with post-season analysis through tests in Jerez, Barcelona and the upcoming Imola test also. Jenzer looks very well placed to capitalise on a hugely promising season filled with highlight moments and deserved strong results.