Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto says the input of manager and mentor Fernando Alonso was influential in him emerging as this year’s title-winner.
Bortoleto, 18, wrapped up the Formula 3 title during Friday’s qualifying session at Monza on Friday, when his nearest opponents failed to take the points on offer for pole position.
Bortoleto is part of the A14 Management scheme run by two-time champion Alonso and 2023 was his first full season under its guidance.
Consistency was a major part of Bortoleto’s title-winning campaign, with the Brazilian taking only two wins – at the opening pair of events in Bahrain and Australia – but failing to score in just three of the 18 races.
“Fernando is a Formula 1 legend and not only in Formula 1 – he has driven in a lot of categories and won in all of them,” said Bortoleto of the Aston Martin racer.
“He’s not just my manager but also an idol for me because since I was very young, Fernando has been the guy who was winning races in my dream category which is Formula 1.”
Bortoleto explained that he remained in regular communication with Alonso through 2023, the lessons from which he applied into his racecraft.
“Now having him as my manager and giving me some tips, especially before Bahrain and Melbourne, even Monaco, it was something very special to me,” said Bortoleto.
“For sure, he has been a big part of what I’ve done this season.
“I was leading the championship after Melbourne and I’d won my second Feature Race in a row, I remember he sent me a voice message of almost 10 minutes on WhatsApp.
“He told me a lot of great stuff, but he kept in my mind that I could have won other races in the year and the moment that I started to struggle because at some point probably I would struggle in the season or not be winning, but in the top five.
“I needed to accept that and get the points that I needed and I think that was my mindset the whole season because it came directly from him and when a guy like Fernando tells you something, I think you better listen! So I think it was very special.”