Grégoire Saucy points his left index finger while smiling at the camera and holding his helmet

Why Grégoire Saucy is starting to look like an F3 title contender

After claiming his first podium finish of the 2023 FIA Formula 3 season in Australia, Grégoire Saucy sits in second place in the drivers’ standings and is starting to look like one of the main championship contenders. Though he still has a long way to go this season, his confidence and on-track performance are definitely on the rise compared to last season. Feeder Series spoke to the Frenchman about his noticeable improvements.

By Daniele Spadi

In 2022, Grégoire Saucy came to Formula 3 as the reigning Formula Regional European champion. Expectations were high, as the French driver had stormed to the FRECA title by beating renowned drivers such as Zane Maloney, Isack Hadjar and Hadrien David. The then 22-year-old partnered with ART Grand Prix for his maiden F3 campaign – one of the best teams to join in the feeder series world.

The Frenchman had a good start to the season, picking up third in the first feature race of the season in Bahrain. But as the season progressed, Saucy struggled to keep up with the top contenders and never looked as competitive as he was expected to be after his previous year’s success. Eventually, the ART driver ended the season in 15th, scoring points in just four of the 18 races.

A change in pace

When 2023 rolled around, ART confirmed that Saucy would stay with them for a second season of F3. Everyone was expecting him to make a big leap forward and challenge for podiums and race wins – perhaps even the championship. Saucy looked mighty quick in pre-season testing, topping the timesheets on multiple occasions during the three-day test in Bahrain.

However, being quick before the season starts means little; Saucy needed a good start to his 2023 campaign to get some confidence and start looking like a serious championship contender. Bahrain was kind to the Frenchman, who used the knowledge he had gathered before the start of the season to qualify third and finish both races in the points.

After his promising start to the season, Saucy needed a good follow-up performance in the second round of the season on the streets of the Albert Park Circuit. Once again, his qualifying performance was excellent, as the Frenchman put his ART on the front row alongside championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto.

“I think from the start of the season I’m [almost] every time in the top five, in every session,” Saucy told Feeder Series after his qualifying performance.

After a very eventful sprint race in which he recovered to eighth and scored some important points, Saucy’s best performance in his Formula 3 career came on Sunday. He kept the pressure on Bortoleto the whole race, and despite not being able to try a move on for the race lead, he still came away with a second-place finish and the fastest lap of the race.

Making a step forward

Saucy’s progress is evident. Not only has he surpassed his total points tally from last season after just four races; he also appears more confident on and off the track. The Frenchman is pretty certain about what changed between his rookie season and his second year in the championship.

“We worked quite a lot with my family, my sponsor and with the team to work during the winter to improve on what I didn’t do well during last year, and I think it works quite well,” he told Feeder Series. “I think we need to keep working like that.”

Though Saucy seems ready to be in the championship fight, it’s still early to label him a sure candidate for the title. With only two of the ten rounds in the books, the 23-year-old will need to keep his head down, stay consistent and show the potential he demonstrated when he won FRECA back in 2021.

Header image credit: FRECA


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