Arriving in Formula 2 having controlled the 2023 Formula 3 season, Gabriel Bortoleto has the world at his feet. The Brazilian was unmatched across his rookie F3 campaign and will be hard at work to ensure he makes a similar splash once racing begins in Formula 2.

Signed with Invicta Racing for 2024, Bortoleto is joining a team with race-winning pedigree in F2 and was constantly smiling during post-season testing as he got his first laps in the car with his new team.

Alongside him, Kush Maini enters his second F2 season having impressed with Campos Racing last time around, so the McLaren Driver Development Programme talent will have a competitive marker to compare himself against, but what can we expect from him in F2?


Bortoleto was consistent throughout the 2023 F3 season something he hopes to carry into 2024
Bortoleto was consistent throughout the 2023 F3 season, something he hopes to carry into 2024

Arguably his strongest asset, Bortoleto’s 2023 record was imperious from start to finish. Having taken an early lead in the Drivers’ Championship, he capitalised on the points advantage and was growing to be out of reach by the time the summer break rolled around.

While he would clearly have enjoyed adding to his two Feature Race victories, his impressive maturity led to him managing his season from Monte Carlo onwards, adding a further four podiums to his tally before the end.

He was also able to keep himself out of trouble while rivals around him became involved in wheel-to-wheel tangles and other misfortune. In fact, it was the slenderest of contacts that led to his puncture at Spa-Francorchamps, one that ended his incredible scoring run of 13-consecutive races.

READ MORE: Pre-season expectations: What will each team be aiming to achieve in 2024?

His predecessor when it comes to being F3 Champion-turned F2 rookie Victor Martins built his maiden F2 campaign along similar lines.

The Frenchman went on a 15 consecutive top-10 finishing run from Monte Carlo to Monza, a patch of form that nobody could match, even Champion teammate Théo Pourchaire. His consistency earned him a top five finish in the Drivers’ Championship and left the Alpine Academy driver brimming with confidence ahead of the new season.

The blueprint to a successful rookie year is laid out in front of Bortoleto then, and he looks more than capable of following suit.


Joining race-winning outfit Invicta Racing Bortoleto hopes to achieve similar levels of success this year
Joining race-winning outfit Invicta Racing, Bortoleto hopes to achieve similar levels of success this year

With Maini alongside him, Bortoleto has a very strong teammate to measure up against when it comes to Qualifying speed. The Indian driver became a factor on a regular occurrence in 2023 as he found his feet with Campos in what was also his rookie year. Maini battled for the front rows at multiple rounds, was inside the top three at Spielberg and Yas Island and missed out on a maiden pole by just 0.1s at Silverstone.

Bortoleto was a pole sitter in F3 at the Melbourne round but was a presence inside the top 10 on all but one race weekend last season. In fact, the Brazilian finished the year with the best average grid position of any driver, lining up sixth on average across the campaign.

As is always the case, starting near the front is always an important factor, but especially to avoid getting caught up in any first lap incidents that wipe away chances of points. Clément Novalak’s win from P13 in Zandvoort was the furthest back a race was won from in 2023, the only such instance of a driver winning from outside the top 10.

Any replication of that in 2024 would be a hugely impressive feat, but Bortoleto’s solid Friday pace should count in his favour once the season kicks off around circuits he has raced on before in Sakhir and Melbourne, with a maiden visit to Jeddah in between offering an early test.


With Kush Maini alongside him Bortoleto has a strong teammate with which to compare himself against early on
With Kush Maini alongside him, Bortoleto has a strong teammate with which to compare himself against early on

It was remarkably impressive when, in just his fourth start in FIA F3, a very calm Bortoleto came across the line having sustained race-long pressure from Grégoire Saucy who ultimately didn’t have the pace to overcome the then-Trident driver.

Bortoleto managed the pace in front to perfection, crossing the line just 0.5s clear of the Swiss after 23 laps that put all drivers to the test. Driving with the wherewithal to understand the tyres and extract the maximum from them whilst sustaining unrelenting pressure was an indication that Bortoleto understood the tools at his disposal.

Having had the chance to prepare for 2024 with Invicta, logging hundreds of laps around the Yas Marina Circuit last year during post-season testing, Bortoleto will have begun to learn the intricacies of the F2 tyres.

Formula 2 will bring a brand-new challenge to overcome, with new compounds, pitstops and 18-inch tyres to master. If he can carry that adaptability and prowess he had in F3 into his rookie season, the Invicta driver will be well-placed once the racing starts.