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Martí F3 Spa
SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 28: Pole position qualifier Josep Maria Marti of Spain and Campos Racing (23) celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of Round 9:Spa-Francorchamps of the Formula 3 Championship at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on July 28, 2023 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

F3: Martí planning ‘full send’ for Spa Sprint Race

FormulaNerds spoke to the top three after Formula 3 qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps about how they'll approach the Sprint Race

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Pepe Martí is just 42 points behind the championship leader and has a good chance to close that gap this weekend.

Martí F3
Pepe Marti on track during practice ahead of Round 9 at Spa-Francorchamps (Image Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli – Getty Images)

Gabriel Bortoleto, the championship leader, only managed 15th in qualifying at the penultimate round of the category. While he has a chance to wrap up the championship this weekend, he’ll be hard pressed starting so far back in both races, especially with his main rivals both in the top 12.

Campos Racing’s Martí claimed his second pole position of the season in the wet Friday session, inching ever closer to close the gap between himself and Bortoleto.

But while the Spanish driver will start first on Sunday, reverse grid rules put him 12th for the Sprint Race tomorrow.

What’s Martí’s plan for tomorrow? As he told FormulaNerds, full send to score some good points!

“I’d like to say full send,” Martí told FormulaNerds in the press conference after qualifying. “I think tomorrow is a day to go forward, obviously, as much as I like to say it’s not on my mind, the championship charge is on my mind. 

“Obviously I’d like to take it close to Monza so it’s something that’s on my mind and I’d like to be able to pull two good races. I think that especially as we saw in Budapest with the tyre conservation, being nice with the tyre is something that I naturally have always done pretty decently. I’m definitely not the best, but it’s something that naturally I have always had a nice feel with, with the tyres.

“So I feel like both tomorrow and Sunday are days to score good points like in Barcelona. So I’m looking forward to the races, I’m thrilled to be racing here again.

“I love the track, and more on a weekend like this. Like I said at the beginning, for me the emotional toil is really really high and if I can deliver a good weekend for the Van’t Hoff family then I’ll be very very happy.”

No risky moves for Fornaroli

Leonardo Fornaroli will start Sunday’s race from second on the grid, but he’ll be playing it safe on Saturday from the middle of the pack.

“Of course going into tomorrow I will start P11,” he told FormulaNerds. “For this weekend I think, looking at my championship position, I have nothing to lose, but I also want to score as many points as possible without doing any stupid or risky mistakes that can compromise my championship and my weekend.”

Fornaroli is ninth in the points standings, without a championship fight to think about like Martí. But he’s just two points behind his closest rival, Oliver Goethe, and will hope to make a jump in the standings this weekend.

Mini F3
Mini getting in the car ahead of Round 9 of the Formula 3 championship at Spa-Francorchamps (Image Credit: @MiniGabriele on Twitter)
Mini Maximising points

Gabriele Mini is looking for as many points as possible throughout the weekend after qualifying third on the grid. As he told FormulaNerds, he’ll try to gain as many positions as possible in the Sprint.

“Well, I think tomorrow, looking at my championship position I need to try and gain the most points possible. Of course that doesn’t mean I’m going to fully send it, we have to be smart, we have to try and gain as many positions as possible on the opening lap or at least not lose any, and then try to get a good pace and gain as many positions as possible and use the others’ mistakes to try to move forward. 

“Of course what we want to aim for is maximising points, the more we take the better it is. So all we have to do is be careful, try to gain positions on the first lap, and slowly catch up to the front if we have good pace.”

Wet weather could throw a wrench in these three drivers’ plans for tomorrow but for now, they’re preparing to do what it takes to gain as many points as possible in the second to last round of the 2023 season.

Feature Image Credit: Joe Portlock – Getty Images

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