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Qualifying report

F3 Bahrain: Mini secures pole on debut ahead of Bortoleto

Gabriele Mini secured the first pole position of the 2023 Formula 3 season, with the rookie driver taking the top spot for Hitech Pulse-Eight on his series debut.

Gabriele Mini, Hitech Grand Prix

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

The Alpine Academy driver set a 1m47.055s two minutes from the end of the session which no other drivers were able to better.

Mini, who finished second in Formula Regional European championship last season, moved to the top of the times early during the 30-minute qualifying session ahead of series returnee Pepe Marti (Campos Racing).

At the halfway mark, the Frenchman was the only driver to set a sub 1m48s time, and improved on his second attempt to recapture provisional pole before again bettering his time to take the top spot.

Despite a risky early final run while others behind him improved on their times, Mini had done enough to secure pole on his debut.

He led the session ahead of Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto, who topped practice earlier in the day, and Gregoire Saucy, who continues for his second season in F3 with ART Grand Prix.

Mini was one of 19 rookies driving in the session, and led from early on at Sakhir.

He was briefly toppled by Bortoleto, before his first time was deleted, and despite a difficult second run managed to retain the top spot.

Gregoire Saucy, ART Grand Prix

Gregoire Saucy, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Fellow Hitech driver Sebastian Montoya slotted into second, with Taylor Barnard in third for Jenzer Motorsport.

Zak O’Sullivan was next to take the lead for Prema Racing, having joined the Italian outfit from Carlin this year, before Caio Collet (Van Amersfoort Racing) took the top spot.

Third-year driver Collet was quickly demoted once again by Mini, who set a 1m47.118s benchmark  while Montoya returned to second.

Mini then improved again to a 1m47.055s before returning to the pits while the rest of the field set their final laps.

Saucy came very close to his best time with two minutes remaining, as did Bortoleto with a 1m47.112s, but Mini retained the top spot for his debut pole.

Reigning Euroformula Open champion Oliver Goethe will line up fourth for Campos Racing, with team-mate and fellow rookie Hugh Barter in fifth.

Kaylen Frederick, who joins ART from Carlin for his second F3 season, will start Sunday’s race from sixth, with Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli in seventh place, with the Prema trio of Dino Beganovic, Paul Aron and O’Sullivan rounding off the top 10.

Marti will start on reverse-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race ahead of Collet.

F3 Bahrain - Qualifying results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Gabriele Minì Hitech Pulse-Eight 11 1'47.055    
2 Gabriel Bortoleto Italy Trident 12 1'47.112 0.057 0.057
3 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy France ART Grand Prix 10 1'47.166 0.111 0.054
4 Oliver Goethe Italy Trident 12 1'47.190 0.135 0.024
5 Hugh Barter Spain Campos Racing 12 1'47.274 0.219 0.084
6 United States Kaylen Frederick France ART Grand Prix 11 1'47.283 0.228 0.009
7 Leonardo Fornaroli Italy Trident 12 1'47.290 0.235 0.007
8 Dino Beganovic Italy Prema Powerteam 11 1'47.320 0.265 0.030
9 Paul Aron Italy Prema Powerteam 11 1'47.322 0.267 0.002
10 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan Italy Prema Powerteam 11 1'47.344 0.289 0.022
11 Brazil Caio Collet Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 12 1'47.371 0.316 0.027
12 Pepe Martí Spain Campos Racing 12 1'47.391 0.336 0.020
13 Argentina Franco Colapinto Netherlands MP Motorsport 12 1'47.398 0.343 0.007
14 Christian Mansell Spain Campos Racing 12 1'47.451 0.396 0.053
15 Colombia Sebastian Montoya Hitech Pulse-Eight 12 1'47.476 0.421 0.025
16 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar Netherlands MP Motorsport 12 1'47.535 0.480 0.059
17 Nikola Tsolov France ART Grand Prix 10 1'47.593 0.538 0.058
18 Luke Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight 12 1'47.694 0.639 0.101
19 Mari Boya Netherlands MP Motorsport 12 1'47.885 0.830 0.191
20 Mexico Rafael Villagomez Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 13 1'47.950 0.895 0.065
21 Oliver Gray Rodin Carlin 12 1'48.200 1.145 0.250
22 Nikita Bedrin Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 12 1'48.203 1.148 0.003
23 Piotr Wiśnicki PHM Racing by Charouz 11 1'48.515 1.460 0.312
24 Germany Sophia Flörsch PHM Racing by Charouz 11 1'48.659 1.604 0.144
25 Israel Ido Cohen Rodin Carlin 12 1'48.665 1.610 0.006
26 Hunter Yeany Rodin Carlin 12 1'48.685 1.630 0.020
27 Tommy Smith Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 11 1'48.687 1.632 0.002
28 Alex Garcia Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 11 1'49.184 2.129 0.497
29 Roberto Faria PHM Racing by Charouz 11 1'49.465 2.410 0.281
30 Taylor Barnard Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 11 2'01.193 14.138 11.728

Results to follow

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