Gabriel Bortoleto, the reigning FIA Formula 3 champion, is gearing up for an exciting transition to Formula 2 next year, bolstered by the mentorship of racing legend Fernando Alonso. Bortoleto, part of the A14 Management stable co-founded by Alonso, credits this partnership as a pivotal factor in his meteoric rise and F3 title success. As he prepares for the challenges of Formula 2, the young racer reflects on the profound impact Alonso's guidance has had on his career.
The Brazilian driver's journey in Formula 3 was marked by rapid adaptation and consistent performance, particularly in the initial rounds in Melbourne. "We were in very good shape with the car and myself. We adapted extremely quickly to the car and to the new tracks, especially in Melbourne," Bortoleto recalls. His strategic approach, focusing on consistency rather than risk-taking, proved instrumental in his championship victory.
Bortoleto's recent post-season testing with Virtuosi Racing in Formula 2, where he secured the 11th fastest time, is a promising indication of his potential in the higher tier. His ability to quickly familiarize himself with the team and car dynamics underscores his readiness for the upcoming 2024 season.
In addition to Alonso's mentorship, Bortoleto's racing career is further enhanced by his involvement in McLaren's driver development program, which he joined in October. This dual affiliation with Formula 1-linked entities provides him with a unique advantage. "I have a good teacher, let’s say. It has been very good with Fernando and with all the team of A14. I think it will be even more useful for me next year," Bortoleto acknowledges the significance of Alonso's experienced guidance in adapting to the heavier F2 cars.
Bortoleto's recent experience in the McLaren F1 simulator was another step forward in his development. Describing it as a "very nice experience," he emphasizes the positive feedback from the team and the potential for further improvement. The young driver's involvement in the F1 simulator work aligns with McLaren's requirements to include a rookie driver in at least two FP1 sessions. Bortoleto, being the only McLaren-affiliated driver in F2, is optimistic about the possibility of participating in these sessions.
As Gabriel Bortoleto embarks on his Formula 2 journey with the mentorship of Fernando Alonso and the support of McLaren's driver development program, the racing world eagerly anticipates his next steps. His talent, coupled with the guidance of industry veterans, positions him as a promising talent to watch in the upcoming season. With a blend of youthful vigor and experienced mentorship, Bortoleto is poised to make significant strides in Formula 2, carrying the wisdom and insights gained from his mentors into this new chapter of his racing career.