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F3: Alpine junior Mini takes pole on Sakhir debut

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Gabriele Mini got his 2023 season off to the perfect start, setting one blisteringly fast lap after another to claim his maiden pole position on his Formula 3 debut.

Proving that experience isn’t everything, the Alpine junior duelled with Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto for the two points on offer. However, nobody could overcome the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver when he posted a 1m 47.055s in the final three minutes of running.

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Less than half a second separated the top 17 runners in a highly competitive session. Gregoire Saucy put ART firmly into the mix in third, after traffic hampered his earlier flying attempts.

It was very successful session for Trident, as all three of their drivers secured their spots inside the top 10, with Oliver Goethe claiming fourth and rookie team mate Leonardo Fornaroli delivering seventh.

Pole position qualifier Gabriele Mini of Italy and Hitech Pulse-Eight (C), Second placed qualifier Gabriel Bortoleto of Brazil and Trident (L) and Third placed qualifier Gregoire Saucy of Switzerland and ART Grand Prix (R)

Pole position qualifier Gabriele Mini of Italy and Hitech Pulse-Eight (C), Second placed qualifier Gabriel Bortoleto of Brazil and Trident (L) and Third placed qualifier Gregoire Saucy of Switzerland and ART Grand Prix (R)

The top of the timing sheets was dominated by the rookies, as Campos Racing’s Hugh Barter left it all to do in the closing seconds and stormed his way to fifth. Returnee Kaylen Frederick was sixth, ahead of Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic.

Mercedes junior Paul Aron was ninth, just behind his PREMA Racing team mate. Having taken provisional pole at the midway point, Caio Collet had to settle for 10th ahead of Campos Racing’s Josep Maria Marti.

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Securing the 12th fastest time earns Williams junior Franco Colapinto the reverse grid pole for Saturday’s Sprint Race and he’ll be looking to score the first win of the year when the lights go out at 1215 local time.

For more, head to the official FIA Formula 3 website.

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