Gabriel Bortoleto Impresses in Formula 2 Pre-season Testing

Gabriel Bortoleto Impresses in Formula 2 Pre-season Testing

In the world of motorsport, precision, skill, and adaptability are paramount. Gabriel Bortoleto, the rising Brazilian star, showcased these qualities on Day 2 of post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit, where he emerged as the fastest driver during the afternoon session.

Stepping out of the #14 Invicta Virtuosi Racing F2 car, Bortoleto maintained a measured perspective, despite his commendable performance. He emphasized that this is just the early stage of preparations for the 2024 season. "It was a positive day. We were competitive yesterday also, but we always had one less set than the others because we were saving tires for today. Also, for myself, I was just building up my confidence in the car," he noted.

During the afternoon session, Bortoleto executed a long run and then tackled performance runs with a medium and a soft tire. The outcome was noteworthy, with him finishing half a second faster. It's worth noting that he used the soft set while others ran on mediums. When on the medium tires, he matched the times of accomplished drivers like Oliver Bearman, highlighting his potential to compete at the highest level.

Despite his impressive performance, Bortoleto remained unfazed by the testing rankings, wisely stating, "I don't really care if we're P1, P2, or whatever, because this is just testing. At the end of the day, we never know who is driving what, who's heavy with fuel, who's driving with extra ballast."

Bortoleto's dedication to his craft is evident as he leaves no stone unturned in his quest to adapt to the challenges of the F2 car. He recently visited the team's Norfolk headquarters for a seat fit and to meet his new team, demonstrating his commitment to a seamless transition from Formula 3 Champion to Formula 2 rookie.

As a member of the McLaren Driver Development Programme, Bortoleto has been diligently working since the F3 finale at Monza to acclimate to the differences between the F3 and F2 cars. Reflecting on these disparities, he observed, "The F3 car is much lighter, much easier to drive in terms of long runs. Physically, you get much less tired than you do in F2. The F2 car is a much heavier car, so every snap you have in the car, you struggle to get it back."

Despite the challenges posed by the F2 car, Bortoleto remains resolute in his pursuit of speed and excellence. He understands that the F2 car, with its added power and distinct driving characteristics, presents a unique set of challenges. However, he succinctly encapsulated the essence of motorsport, stating, "It's still a car with four wheels, one steering wheel, and one driver in the middle trying to make it go as fast as possible."

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Bortoleto, like all rookies, faces the challenge of adapting to the 18-inch Pirelli tires and the new F2 2024 car. Having tested these tires at Yas Marina, he expressed contentment with the grip they provided.

Additionally, he noted that the level of tire degradation in F2 is less severe compared to F3, allowing drivers to push harder during races. Bortoleto appreciates the flexibility these tires offer, stating, "In F2, you can do the lap time even on the third or fourth push, so you have time to build up in this car, which I think is cool."

As Bortoleto and his fellow drivers prepare for the third and final day of testing, the Formula 2 grid appears poised for an exciting and competitive season ahead. Gabriel Bortoleto's journey from Formula 3 Champion to Formula 2 contender promises to be one of the narratives to watch in 2024, and his dedication and adaptability have positioned him as a rising star in the world of motorsport.