Goethe EFO 2022

Goethe: ‘I wasn’t really expecting to be P2’ in Bahrain after tough F3 pre-season test

Following on from four Formula 3 races last season, in which the German-Danish youngster took 15 points, Oliver Goethe is stepping up to F3 for his rookie season in 2023. Having already raced for teams such as MP Motorsport and Campos Racing, the 18-year-old has joined Trident for his debut campaign in Formula 3.

By Torin Budd

The reigning Euroformula Open champion settled in well to the 2023 season, with a second-row start and silverware in the form of a second-place finish in the feature race at the opening round in Bahrain. Speaking on the Feeder Series Podcast, Goethe explained how the start of the season went from his perspective. 

“There was pre-season testing in Bahrain, and it didn’t go amazingly,” he said. “At that point I wasn’t really expecting to be P2 on Sunday a few weeks after, but I managed to come back. I worked hard a lot in between the two events, and we managed to make it work.” 

In response to a poll by podcast viewers in which 61% said that they thought the 2023 Formula 3 championship would be won by a rookie, Oliver said, “Well, I’ll try my best! Obviously, there are a lot of rookies this year, so who knows what’s going to happen. A lot of good rookies too!”

The Feeder Series Podcast featuring Oliver Goethe is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts

A man of many flags

Oliver is racing under the German flag in the 2023 Formula 3 season, but in the past he has raced under the Monégasque and Danish flags, winning the Euroformula Open title using the latter.

Speaking on this, he explained, “In F3, basically, you have to drive with the country of where your licensed is issued, so last year I had the Monégasque flag for two rounds, but we wanted to change that because obviously, I’m not from there – I just live there. So we decided to get the German license, but I feel very much Danish as I do German.”

All change in 2023

A new season, a new championship, a new team and new tracks would be enough to make even the most notorious of mentality monsters think twice about how to approach these challenges. Reflecting on this point, the German-Danish driver stated that the switch went well and that the time for silverware came eventually.

“Trident are an amazing team, Motorpark are an amazing team, Campos are an amazing team. I felt really comfortable at each team. It’s been going well so far everywhere I’ve gone recently, so hopefully, I can just keep that up,” he said.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work – some testing, a lot of simulator, physical preparation, and I’ve really gelled with the team, also with my teammates, Gabriel [Bortoleto] and Leo [Fornaroli]. We have a really good connection between us, and it’s like one big family. It’s really nice.”

Chaos, carnage and challenges in Bahrain

In the Formula 3 season opener, Goethe avoided incidents to take a sixth-place finish in the sprint race and an eventual second place in the feature race following a penalty for Alpine Academy driver Gabriele Minì, who crossed the line first but was demoted to eighth for a start procedure infringement.

Goethe told the Feeder Series Podcast that such penalties, while seemingly harsh, are warranted. 

“It’s the rules at the end of the day. You have to be really, really careful with everything you do because one little thing like that, it can completely ruin your race or maybe even your championship,” he said. “It’s sad for him, but it worked well in the favour of me.”

Next stop: Down Under

Formula 3’s next stop is on the first weekend of April at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit, which hosts the Australian Grand Prix. It won’t only be Goethe who will be taking to the streets of Melbourne for the first time, as this will be FIA Formula 3’s debut visit to the circuit. Goethe explained how he and Trident are preparing for yet another new challenge.

“I’m pretty sure no driver has ever driven there in F3, and therefore, preparation is extremely important, so that’s why I’m here. We’re doing a lot of sim. We’re going to do some karting for physical preparation as well,” he said. “You only have one free practice, where you only get a few push laps and then it’s straight into qualifying. It’s not like you have a day or two of testing, so it’s all about preparation for the team and the driver.” 

When quizzed on his familiarity with the track, Goethe said that he had been watching Formula 1 races there. Based on his experience from his first visit to the Bahrain International Circuit, Goethe said he was confident that the real Albert Park would be similar to what he drove in Trident’s simulator. 

“In Bahrain for example, before the pre-season tests, I’d never been there, and I was kind of thinking it’s going to be completely different in real life, but the sim is very good here. The engineers do a good job to make sure it’s like real life.”

Header photo credit: Euroformula Open


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