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Exclusive: how is the plan of the Argentine Franco Colapinto to be able to reach Formula 1

Exclusive: how is the plan of the Argentine Franco Colapinto to be able to reach Formula 1
Franco Colapinto celebrating on the Monza podium with the Argentine flag behind (Credit: Franco Colapinto Press – Photos: James Gasperotti)

Key days are coming for the future of Franco Colapintothe Argentine closest to the Formula 1. The young man from Pilar finished an auspicious first championship in the Formula 3 and his good results earned him a new opportunity in the team MP Motorsportwhich gave him one of his three cars for the post-season tests that will take place this Wednesday and Friday at the Jerez Autodrome, Spain. But this chance is part of a long-term plan to run in the categories prior to the Maximum.

Franco was already in the Dutch team in 2021 with which he achieved two victories in the European Regional Formula, a category similar to F3. This team finished fourth in the specialty season and was champion in Formula 2 with the brazilian Philip Drugovich. This team prevented the third coronation in a row of Prema has a great experience in promotional divisions since it was founded in 1995.

Colapinto, in his first year in F3, obtained five podiums as a result of his two wins in emblematic circuits such as the Italian ones Imola and Monza, two third places (Austria and the Netherlands) and a second placement, in Hungary. In addition, he captured a pole position on the first date run in Bahrain.

Franco achieved five podium finishes in F3 in 2022 which included two wins (Credit: Franco Colapinto Press – Photos: James Gasperotti)

It should be remembered that Franco ran in the 2022 championship with the team Van Amersfoort Racing, who also made his debut in the specialty and, not knowing most of the circuits, was complicated when it came to setting up his cars. However, the 19-year-old finished ninth in the championship and achieved 83.51 percent of the squad’s points, which demonstrated the good performance of the Buenos Aires native.

During the season other F3 teams approached the representatives of Bullet Sports Management, the European company that manages Franco’s campaign. The level of his pilot aroused interest and one of those who wanted to give him another chance is MP Motorsport, which will have him among one of its three testers in the tests in Spain. The Argentine will drive the number 10 car. The other two runners are the British jonny edgar and the spanish Mari Buoy.

Franco knows this team very well since under his sphere he was third in the European Formula Renault championship in 2020 and won both races in the European Regional Formula, at the Red Bull in Austria and in Valencia, Spain. That was the kick to be able to reach F3 in 2022.

Franco Colapinto well up on the Monza podium after his victory, the second in Formula 3 (Video edited by Corazón de F1)

In August Infobae anticipated that Franco’s goal was to continue in the categories prior to F1. Now this medium was able to know that Franco has the chance to run with this team in the Formula 3 in 2023 and in the Formula 2 in 2024. Although the annual budgets in F2 range from 2.6 million dollars and in F3, about 1.2 million dollarsthe Dutch team offered him a reduced cost (no details were given) to be able to close for the next two seasons.

Being able to confirm this long-term plan is vital for Colapinto since first he will gain peace of mind for the security of being able to drive in a very competitive team in the two categories prior to Formula 1. The strategy consists of fighting next year for the F3 title and win it. Then jump to F2 and, after two seasons in which he knew the circuits in F3, also be the protagonist for the championship in the major division. On the other hand, it was found that Premaa team linked to ferrariwas also interested in the Argentine and offered him to run in F3, but for a higher budget.

The MP Motorsport has a seat reserved for Franco, but the budget must be gathered and the pertinent guarantees must be confirmed. He and his manager, the Spanish Mary Carrineu, will arrive in Argentina on Monday, October 3, and their goal is to meet with representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to thank them for their support this year, since the inscription “Visit Argentina” appeared on the F3 Dallara that Franco drove. They also hope to be able to meet with businessmen to see what the possibilities are of having more support from Argentina.

Franco in the colors of MP Motorsport celebrating his victory at the Red Bull Ring in 2021 (@francolapinto)

The deadline that MP Motorsport gave Colapinto and his people it is until after the trip to Argentina. Therefore, the help they can get in the country will be decisive. It should be remembered that until now Franco has always been able to run with European sponsors, except for the aforementioned state collaboration.

Colapinto was the Argentine karting champion and settled in Europe in 2018. The following year he was champion of the Spanish Formula 4 with Fernando Alonso’s team. In 2020 he was third in the European Formula Renault and in 2021 he finished sixth in the Regional Formula. In all these categories he was the winner.. After almost five years in the Old World, he earned the respect and consideration of the international environment.

Franco Colapinto at the Juan Manuel Fangio monument in Monza, similar to the one in Puerto Madero, Monaco, Barcelona and the Nurburgring

But now another defining moment has come for Franco, who has started another career and it is the most important for his future. Confirming his presence for the next two years in the F1 environment, continuing to shine and achieving good results could catapult him into the top circus.

Since 2001 an Argentine has not run in the Máxima and was Gaston Mazzacane. The last Grand Prix of the Argentine Republic was on April 12, 1998, the day he won Michael Schumacher in the Autodrome of Buenos Aires Oscar and Juan Gálvez.

Argentina has a long history with F1 from the five world championships of Juan Manuel Fangio (1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957), the first victory for Ferrari that he achieved Jose Froilan Gonzalez in 1951 and his runner-up in 1954, the same merit achieved by Carlos Alberto Reutemann in 1981. After Lole there was no other Argentine who was the protagonist in the Máxima due to the lack of budget support since the talent was always with other representatives such as -among others- Oscar Ruben Larrauri, Stephen Tuero Y Norbert Fontanaor the cases of Jose Maria chest Lopez and Esteban Guerrieri who caressed the great circus. But the quarry is inexhaustible and Colapinto rekindled the illusion of Argentine fans who dream of having another runner in the Máxima again.


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