Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023

Circuit: Sakhir (Bahrain), Length 5.412 km, 3rd - 5th March 2023, Rounds 1 + 2

Nikita Bedrin (ITA), Taylor Barnard (GB), Alejandro Garcia (MEX)

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Hot start in Bahrain

The FIA F3 Championship started the season-opening FIA F1 program at the 2023 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The race took place following three official test days held here in mid-February. It was immediately apparent how close together this year the top-class field of 30 vehicles was. Hot sunshine accompanied the race weekend in the desert state.

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Race One Qualifying

Friday, 04/03/23, 16.00 – 16.30, Weather: Sunny, 25°C

On Friday morning, the teams got down to business with the practice session. Making the most out of the 45 minutes track action, our three rookies tried to get the best feeling out of the powerful F3 machines. Taylor and Nikita initially topped the timing sheets. But the sandy track steadily improved and was at it’s fastest towards the end of the session. Nikita reached 19th place in the end, followed by Taylor in 22nd position and Alejandro in 28th.
Later in the afternoon, when temperatures were a little cooler, the battle for the grid began and it was the first ever FIA F3 qualifying session for our three rookie drivers. Taylor was looking good as he briefly stormed up to 4th place. Unfortunately, despite showing great speed throughout the three sets of tires used, and appearing continuously in the top ten, the British driver got his times deleted due to track limit infringements. Taylor found himself without an official time set as the chequered flag was waved. Nikita was trying to find his rhythm and with the final set of tires, managed to put himself in 22nd place. Alejandro took the 28th position in his first qualifying of the new season.
This season, two FIA F3 races will be held per race weekend. The starting grid for race 1 (sprint race, 40 minutes) is based on the reversed 12 first positions of the qualifying session. Race 2 on Sunday (feature race, 45 minutes) takes place according to the exact result in qualifying. These constellations promise exciting races!

Race One Grid
1st Franco Colapinto (ARG) MP  
2nd Josep Maria Marti (E) Campos  
3rd Caio Collet (F) Van Amersfoort  
21st Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport  
28th Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport  
30th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport  

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FIA F3 Championship

Race One (Sprint-Race, 40 Minutes)

Saturday, 04/03/23, 12.15, Weather: Sunny, 28°C

The Sprint Race got underway on Saturday at lunch time and it was the first ever FIA F3 race for our rookie drivers; they all did a fantastic job. Nikita took the start from the 21st position and by the end of the first lap he was already up to 19th place. Taylor started the race from the back of the grid. As the lights went out, the British driver was already up to 24th place. Alejandro was 28th on the grid and immediately managed to gain one spot. There was drama as the race approached the second lap with Villagomez having a contact with Bortoleto. The Safety Car got deployed and the race neutralized. Nikita was still in 19th place, Taylor in 21st and Alejandro in 25th position. On lap 6, the race got underway again and Nikita immediately snatched the 16th place, followed closely by Taylor in 17th. Alejandro was now up to 24th spot but received a 10 second-time penalty that dropped him down the order. Not much later, a Virtual Safety Car was deployed, which eventually turned into another Safety Car. The race was once again neutralized and the drivers had to manage another restart. When the green flags waved, Nikita and Taylor were in the fight for 14th place. In the end Taylor crossed the finishline in 15th place, with 15 positions gained! Nikita took the chequered flag in 17th place, while Alejandro closed the race in 27th place. An overall impressive start from our team despite not easy starting positions!

Results Race One
1st Josep Maria Marti (E) Campos 43:09.598  
2nd Franco Colapinto (ARG) MP Gap 1.805
3rd Caio Collet (F) Van Amersfoort Gap 5.879
15th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport    
17th Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport    
27th Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Josep Maria Marti (E) in 1:50.867

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Race Two Grid
1st Gabriele Mini (I) Hitech 1:47.055
2nd Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA) Trident 1:47.112
3rd Gregoire Saucy (CH) ART 1:47.166
21st Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport 1:47.159
28th Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport 1:49.184
30th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport 2:01.193

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FIA F3 Championship

Race Two (Feature Race, 45 Minutes)

Sunday, 05/03/23, 11.50, Weather: Sunny, 28°C

The first feature race of the 2023 season took place on Sunday lunchtime, in very hot temperatures that were reaching 30 degrees. Nikita took the start from the 22nd place, while Alejandro and Taylor were starting from the 28th and 30th slots on the grid. When the lights went off, our drivers started well and fought to keep their positions. At the end of the opening laps, Nikita was still holding on to his 22nd place. Alejandro had now gained one position and was up to 27th place, with Taylor chasing him down in 28th position. Soon, the British driver made a move on the Mexican and stole the 27th place from his teammate. Our drivers were building up their pace and were making moves through the field when a Safety Car had to be deployed as Boya stopped on track. Taylor was now up to 19th place, followed closely by Nikita in 20th place; Alejandro was 27th. Taking advantage of the restart, our drivers were ready to fight again. Taylor muscled his way through and conquered the 17th place, with Nikita behind him in 19th position. Unfortunately, with two laps to go, Alejandro found himself with a some damage on the car after jumping on a kerb. The Mexican driver had to stop the car on track and his race was over. With another accident happening at the same time, the Safety Car had to be deployed. When the chequered flag waved, the cars were still behind the Safety Car. It was a brilliant recovery for Taylor, who at the end took 16th place. Nikita also showed great fighting skills as he finished right behind in 17th position. Such a shame for Alejandro who couldn't finish the race.

Results Race Two
1st Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA) Trident 44:33.107  
2nd Oliver Goethe (B) Trident Gap 0.869
3rd Dino Beganovic (S) Trident Gap 1.109
16th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport    
17th Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport    
29th Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA) in 1:50.743

The next race will take place in Melbourne (Australia) on the weekend of April 2nd. After that, FIA F3 returns to Europe for more days of testing at Barcelona and Imola in April before the racing season resumes in Europe.

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Championship standings after 2 out of 18 races:

1st Gabriel Bortoleto, (BRA), 26 points; 2nd Oliver Goethe (B), 23 points; 3rd Dino Beganovic (S), 22 points; 4th Josep Maria Marti (E), 19 points; 5th Gregoire Saucy (CH), 16 points; 6th Franco Colapinto (ARG), 10 points

Nikita Bedrin (ITA)

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Taylor Barnard (GB)

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Alejandro Garcia (MEX)

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2023 FIA F3 Championship

3-5 March 2023 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Sakhir (BHR)
31 March - 2. April 2023 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Melbourne (AUS)
19-21 May 2023 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Imola (I)
26-28 May 2023 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix Monte Carlo (MC)
2-4 June 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Barcelona (E)
30 June - 2 July 2023 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix RedBull Ring (A)
7-9 July 2023 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
21-23 July 2023 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring (HU)
28-30 July 2023 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
1-3 September 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Monza (I)


For more information: