Report

ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy leads the way during F3 pre-season testing in Bahrain

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Gregoire Saucy topped Formula 3 pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit ahead of his second campaign in the championship with ART Grand Prix, posting the fastest overall time across the three days of running.

The Swiss driver finished P1 during three of the five sessions in Sakhir, setting a 1m 46.642s on the morning of Day 2 – when the times were at their quickest – for the best effort of the week.

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Saucy was consistent over the course of the test, finishing the other sessions he didn’t lead inside the top three and logging 146 laps in total. On the opening day of the test, he hit the ground running, heading the pack in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Taylor Barnard and Mercedes Junior and PREMA Racing driver Paul Aron were the closest to Saucy. They followed in second to the ART man in the morning and afternoon respectively.

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Saucy set the pace as the F3 field gathered for pre-season testing

After Saucy set the best time of the test on the second morning, Gabriele Mini rose to the top of the times on Day 2. Fresh from signing with the Alpine Academy, he led the afternoon’s running.

A 1m 48.175s put Mini ahead of Saucy as well as Hitech teammate and Red Bull Junior driver Sebastian Montoya – son of former Williams and McLaren F1 driver Juan Pablo – who completed the top three.

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With the focus very much on long-run pace during the final day, there were no record-breaking times. Gabriel Bortoleto topped the final session for Trident, edging out Mini for the top time by 0.039s with a 1m 47.417s.

Mini and Saucy were once again pushing for the top spot, ending up second and third at the chequered flag, with 0.102s covering the lead trio.

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Bahrain staged three days of testing action ahead of the 2023 season kicking off

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Caio Collet was the busiest driver on the final day, posting 61 laps to lead the lap charts. Elsewhere, PREMA Racing and Ferrari Academy driver Dino Beganovic ranked second-quickest overall, setting his best lap time on the second morning.

Mini was able to achieve the joint-highest mileage as well as showing strong pace as the third-fastest driver overall. He shared the highest lap count with Kaylen Frederick of ART, both on 170 laps apiece. Beganovic’s total of 169 laps was the next best in terms of lap count.

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F3 returns to Sakhir, Bahrain for Round 1 of the 2023 season from March 3-5. To read reports for each day of testing, visit the FIA Formula 3 website here.

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