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Fernando Alonso support “life changing” for F3 winner Bortoleto

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Formula 3’s newest winners Gabriel Bortoleto and Pepe Marti have both highlighted the value of having double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso by their side.

Alonso co-founded his A14 Management project last year and signed Bortoleto in the autumn ahead of his step up to F3 with Trident from Formula Regional Europe, where he also enjoyed a late-season burst of form with two race wins.

He qualified in second place for his F3 debut in Bahrain, and went on to win the season-opening feature race after a penalty for fellow rookie Gabriele Mini. Alonso greeted Bortoleto in parc ferme, just as he had done with another of his proteges on Saturday when Pepe Marti won the sprint race.

“I think having Fernando as a manager today was very important for me, even for getting my seat today in Trident,” the Brazilian told Formula Scout in the press conference after qualifying.

“He’s a guy that we keep a lot of contact during the weekend as well. Even before the qualifying, he sent me a message telling me if I need something on his side, I could ask him or something. I did my questions for sure before quali, and for sure every information that he gave to me was important.

“For me it’s a life changing to be with him. I think it’s a very good opportunity, and I hope that we can keep this collaboration for very, very long.”

Marti also joined the A14 ranks late last year ahead of his second F3 campaign with Campos Racing and discussed the influence of his fellow Spaniard. 

“He’s a really big character right now for me,” Marti said after winning. “He’s obviously been my idol for the last 17 years of my life. So, he’s obviously a fantastic character.

“He’s a great person off the track, he is an amazing driver on the track. So it’s just his knowledge and everything, everything he’s able to transfer to me and to my team-mates in A14 is just great. It’s just a great opportunity for me to be able to have that knowledge at hand. It’s just a great influence.”

As part of their development programme, A14’s members conduct extensive simulator sessions, where Alonso mentors them on how to improve their driving and car set-up.

“On the sim, I think it’s quite hard to represent what you do in real life, but I think most of it, what we do is technicalities,” Marti explained in response to Formula Scout.

“For me, personally, I wasn’t really able to be in many of the sim sessions because I was in the Middle East [racing FRegional]. So I think I only did like a quarter of the laps that everyone else did.

“Obviously with his knowledge, it’s just really helpful because you ask a question and he always has an answer for it because he’s been through these situations countless times. It’s a great opportunity for me to learn. It’s a great opportunity for me to grow as a driver.”