F3 title contender Mini confident ahead of Monaco – Motorsport Week

FIA Formula 3 title contender Gabriele Mini is feeling confident ahead of this weekend’s round in Monaco, where he was victorious last year.

The Alpine Academy driver, competing with Prema is enjoying a consistent campaign thus far, rewarding him with fourth place in the Drivers’ standings.

Mini, 19, is just seven points adrift of fellow Italian Leonardo Fornaroli atop the standings and has every reason to believe he can mount a strong challenge this weekend.

The 19-year-old has plenty of experience around the principality, racing twice in Formula Regional Championship by Alpine and winning last year’s F3 Feature Race.

“Last year was really the perfect scenario,” said Mini.

“We had a really good setup base. I knew also the track really well because of the Formula Regional experience I had.

“This year will be a bit different. You know, most of the second-year drivers that are fighting in the championship lead with me have already been here, and they’ve all been really quick. So yeah, we’ll see how we’ll go.”

Speaking of the championship, Mini is one of five drivers separated by just 11 points at the top of the table, despite failing to pick up a win so far this term.

The Prema driver credits maximising every opportunity with enabling him to be in the championship fight, whilst acknowledging how competitive the field is.

“Well, I think the championship this year is really tight,” he said.

“We see many, many drivers that are always at the front. For example, the top five are really close in the championship.

“But we see how, for example, Oliver [Goethe], I think before Imola didn’t have a podium, if I’m not mistaken. And now with just one race [win] he’s already there.

“Of course, consistency is key to try and win the championship. At some point, you need to still win the races, you know, because it gives such a point advantage that it would just make a big difference.

Race winner Gabriele Mini (ITA) Hitech Pulse-Eight celebrates on the podium. 28.05.2023. FIA Formula 3 Championship, Rd 4, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Sunday.

“What I’m trying to do is to focus on each event. So each practice lap, each quali lap and then each race and race by race, you know, that’s why I’m trying to maximize every point we have, maybe not taking too big risk sometimes. And in the end, just trying to bring everything home at all races.

“Of course, you still want to try, as I said, and maximize and even get some wins. But when you cannot win, I think the key is to really bring the points home.”

Speaking on wins, Mini doesn’t think there’s much missing from his performances to get over the hurdle of taking to the top step of the podium in 2024.

The Italian had a tricky start at Imola that cost him a shot at a large points haul, but is confident moving forward given his strong pace.

“I don’t think we are missing much,” he said.

“You know, in Imola, I got the clutch issue at the start.

“So yeah, I lost basically seven places and then came back to be sixth. I think, to be honest, it was the best opportunity I had this season because we were clearly really quick. One of the quickest on track, I think.

“So I think by getting just a normal start, you know, we could have not won easily, but we could have for sure fought for the win.

“But once again, when you cannot take the win, try to maximise the points.”

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