Race Report

Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2023

Circuit: Melbourne (AUS), Length 5.278 km, 31st March - 2nd April 2023, Rounds 3 + 4

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

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Barnard in the points in Melbourne

The FIA F3 Championship started for the first time in the FIA F1 program at the Rolex Australian Grand Prix. The race took place on the temporary race course in Albert Park in Melbourne. The fast street circuit was a great challenge for our rookies. Changing and cool weather accompanied the race weekend in the Australian metropolis.

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Race One Qualifying

Friday, 31/03/23, 14.00 – 14.30, Weather: Cloudy, 17°C

On Friday morning, the FIA F3 championship made it’s debut in the fast and challenging circuit of Albert Park with the practice session getting underway early in the morning. The key was to get as much experience as possible with only one session before heading into qualifying next. When the lights turned green our drivers were the first to go on track. A red flag interrupted the session with 30 minutes to go and when it got underway again, our drivers were pushing hard to find the limits. Taylor closed the session in 20th place, followed by Nikita in 23rd and Alejandro in 30th.

Not much later the first qualifying session for FIA F3 in Australia got started and it turned out to be a dramatic one. 6 minutes into the session the first red flag was waived as Marti crashed his car. The clock stopped while the track was cleaned and 24 minutes remained when the session was restarted. Nikita did a great job as he managed 18th best time in his first run. Taylor achieved 22nd and Alejandro was 28th. With the new set of tires, our drivers were showing their potential with Taylor momentarily snatching 14th place. Another red flag came out when Frederick hit the wall at Turn 14 with a little more than 4 minutes remaining on the clock. Back to green, everyone was in a rush to improve their times and the traffic was intense. Unfortunately, Nikita lost his car in his fastest attempt and crashed at Turn 14, bringing out the final red flag of the session. Taylor managed to qualify in 18th position, while Nikita remained in 20th place. Alejandro finished the session in 29th position.

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 Sebastian Montoya (COL) Hitech  
2nd Oliver Goethe (GER) Trident  
3rd Caio Collet (F) Van Amersfoort  
18th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport  
20th Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport  
29th Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport  

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FIA F3 Championship

Race One (Sprint-Race, 40 Minutes)

Saturday, 01/04/23, 10.45, Weather: Cloudy, 15°C

Being the first time racing in the streets of the Albert Park circuit, excitement was very high and the Sprint race surely delivered the action despite four safety car interruptions. When the lights went off, it was a mixed start for the team with Taylor and Nikita dropping down to 20th and 21st place respectively while Alejandro managed to move up some places to 27th position. The Safety Car had to be deployed already at the end of the first lap. Taylor took advantage of the restart to take 19th position from Villagomez and then moved up another place to 18th. In front of him, Cohen hit the wall at the high speed chicane and stopped in the gravel, bringing out the second Safety Car period of the race. At this point, Taylor was 17th, Nikita 22nd and Alejandro in 25th position. The race got underway again but not for long. The Safety Car was deployed yet again on lap 13, which enabled Nikita to move to 19th place and Alejandro to 23rd. With 5 laps to go, the race went back to green and everyone was eager to make some final moves. Unfortunately, Alejandro was the next to loose the car at Turn 11 bringing his race to an early end. This was a pity since he was showing a good race pace. The Safety Car came on track and lead the field to the chequered flag. Taylor finished the race in a positive 15th place, followed by Nikita who crossed the line in 18th place after very good progresses for both.
After the scrutineering all three cars from MP were disqualified because of technical non-conformity. With this Colapinto even lost his win. On the other hand our drivers were promoted forward in the results.

Results Race One
1st Zak O’Sullivan (GB) Prema 42:06.098  
2nd Sebastian Montoya (VEN) Hitech Gap 0.219
3rd Paul Aron (EST) Prema Gap 0.593
12th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport    
15th Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport    
DNF: Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Luke Browning (GB) in 1:34.880

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Race Two Grid
1st Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA) Trident 1:33.025
2nd Gregoire Saucy (CH) ART 1:33.196
3rd Gabriele Mini (I) Hitech 1:33.307
18th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.394
20th Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.768
29th Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport 1:36.596

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FIA F3 Championship

Race Two (Feature Race, 45 Minutes)

Sunday, 02/04/23, 09.05, Weather: Sunny, 14°C

On Sunday morning the feature race got underway and it was another one filled with a lot of action and thrill. When the lights went out, our drivers were off to a good start and immediately fought for positions. A Safety Car had to be deployed already by the end of the opening laps. Taylor was up to 17th place, followed closely by Nikita in 18th position while Alejandro was 27th. As the drivers were following the Safety Car, some drama happened with several cars, meaning that when the racing resumed, Taylor and Nikita were already up one place in 16th and 17th place respectively, while Alejandro was 25th. Having found his rhythm, Taylor was on the charge and making good progress through the field. The British rookie was in 14th place when once again a Safety Car neutralized the race momentarily. Back to green, Taylor didn’t waste any time and moved in 13th place. It was then a fantastic move on Edgar that placed the British driver in 12th place while behind him, Alejandro was on a recovery mode and was up to 22nd place. Unfortunately, as we were approaching the final lap of the race, Nikita was 15th and planning to do some overtaking when he crashed. With this he didn’t finish his race which, up to this point, was really promising. With the yellow flags still waiving, the an exciting race came to an end. Taylor crossed the finishing line in a fantastic 10th place, gaining the last point on offer and his first point in the championship. Alejandro finished the race in 20th position, completing a great recovery.
After the race, penalties were handed out to some drivers. That meant Taylor moved up to an excellent 9th place, earning 2 points.

Results Race Two
1st Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA) Trident 43:41.950  
2nd Gregoire Saucy (CH) ART Gap 0.596
3rd Gabriele Mini (I) Hitech Gap 3.032
9th Taylor Barnard (GB) Jenzer Motorsport    
20th Alejandro Garcia (MEX) Jenzer Motorsport    
23rd Nikita Bedrin (I) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Gregoire Saucy (CH) in 1:34.405

FIA F3 returns to Europe for more days of testing at Barcelona on 13/14 April and Imola on 18/19 April before the racing season resumes at Imola on the weekend of 21st May 2023.

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Championship standings after 4 out of 18 races:

1st Gabriel Bortoleto, (BRA), 58 points; 2nd Gregoire Saucy (CH), 38 points; 3rd Dino Beganovic (S), 32 points; 4th Gabriele Mini (I), 28 points; 5th Oliver Goethe (DE), 23 points; 6th Josep Maria Marti (E), 21 points; 17th Taylor Barnard (GB), 2 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)

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