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F2 driver Gabriel Bortoleto

Exclusive: How F3 Champ Bortoleto is gearing up for his F2 debut

Bortoleto showed promise at the F2 post-season test in November

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Gabriel Borteloto graduates to F2 next year after clinching the Formula 3 title in his only maiden year.

Bortoleto and Maini, F2 drivers
Bortoleto partners Kush Maini at Invicta Virtuosi Racing, which finished fifth overall in the 2023 season. (Image credit: F2)

The Brazilian driver will race alongside Kush Maini at Invicta Virtuosi Racing, the pair taking the seats held previously by Jack Doohan and Amaury Cordeel. 

Ahead of his Formula 2 debut, Bortoleto had his first taste of F2 machinery at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi last month. Speaking to FormulaNerds, Bortoleto described the experience as “amazing”, even as he noted the challenges that await him next year.

“A new team, a lot of new things for me to learn as well,” Bortoleto stated. “[It’s a] new car, much heavier than F3, also much more power.”

Despite there being plenty for Borteloto to get to grips with as he takes on this new championship, the 19-year-old’s excitement is tangible. 

“I’m looking forward for next season,” said Bortoleto. “I will keep working everything I can, and in the winter break, I keep pushing.” 

New changes, new challenges

The Brazilian, who secured the F3 championship with a margin of 45 points, reckons the competition next year will be strong. “I think there will be a lot of talented drivers next season in Formula 2, so it will be very tough, I would say.”

However, there’s an aspect of a slightly leveler playing field, as Bortoleto graduates to F2 as the new generation of car is introduced. Bortoleto will join the other 22 drivers in having to familiarise himself with a new car. 

“I’m looking forward to the new cars,” he said. “From what I hear, it’s not so different from the actual F3 in terms of driving but for sure, set-up wise would be quite different. I need to test it first to see how it goes.”

“Testing the F2 car in Abu Dhabi was a big help for me,” added Bortoleto. “It will help me for next season during the off season.”

Post-season testing saw Bortoleto quickly get up to speed with the F2 car. Finishing fastest of all on during the afternoon session of the second day, Bortoleto seemed to prove himself one to watch next season.

Three months remain until F2 heads to the opening round of the season in Bahrain. Bortoleto intends to use this time to ready himself for his F2 debate — but he also plans to disconnect, unwind, and refresh himself for another year of racing. 

“I will be with my family in Brazil because I don’t spend so much time with them during the season,” he said. “We’ll go back to Brazil, spend Christmas and New Year with them, have a little bit of fun and just recharge my batteries.”

Featured Image Credit: F1 Mania

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