Sauber Academy’s Brazilian driver Roberto Faria accelerates in GB3 and aims to enter Formula 1

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When I was six years old, in a class activity, Roberto Faria He had to do that classic task of portraying what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I dragged myself into a carriage Formula 1″, remember. After 12 years, the Carioca pilot begins to have a childhood dream that slowly doesn’t seem so utopian. A GB3 (former English F3) driver, he collects good results and is currently the only Brazilian to join Sauber Academy, a traditional Swiss team. There, among his teachers is the Austrian Josef Leberer, the same one who had been the physical trainer of the Ayrton army for many years.

Roberto Faria is currently third in GB3, but could also finish the next stage in the lead when the competition moves to the famous Belgian circuit of Spa Francorchamps – the modalities are divided into eight stages, three in each. Events happen. Before that, however, he will take advantage of the controversy-free weekend to follow up with the F1 Silverstone GP with Sauber engineers. “It will be great to see, for the first time, how a Formula 1 team works from the inside,” explained the driver Estadao.

Born in Rio, Roberto Faria does not come from a family of pilots. After trying other sports like football and volleyball, the taste for cars came by chance. This gave him a “late” start in karting, a traditional gateway to the world of motorsport. “I had my first training in karting at the age of 11, when most people start at six”, he explains.

With no track in Rio – the Jacarpagua race track was demolished for the construction of the Barra Olympic Park – they started three weekly trips to Guapimirim to accelerate the category. “I would wake up at 5:40 am, face 1h30 of commuting and return in the afternoon before classes”, he says. “It was like that for two years.”

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In early 2019, Roberto Faria decided to give up karting and move to England, one of the great centers of world motorsport. He started in British Formula 4, and from there he progressed to GB3, where he competes for Carlin. And it was in this category that he sparked the interest of Sauber, who invited him to join his pilot academy. The GB3 Championship is a competition based in the United Kingdom. It is the main single-seater category in England, and is aimed at young drivers coming out of Formula 4 or karting.

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Although this is an early stage, joining a traditional team academy cuts the distance to the main category of world motorsport. “Three years ago, when I was into karting, Formula 1 was far away. Now I am practically inside a team, talking to the important people in this world”, says Roberto.

As a member of the Sauber Academy, he now has access to the Formula 1 paddock and follows a weekend in the drivers’ lives. And at Silverstone, the experience is a first. “We learn about their routine, because it’s not just driving; you have to interview, sign autographs, talk to engineers … It’s good to be in touch with that, because they have a lot of experience.”

And also has experience with historical professionals in the world of motorsport. “My physical trainer is like an army physical trainer”, he quotes Joseph Leberer. “When I went to Switzerland at the beginning of the year (Get to know Sauber Academy), I landed in Zurich, but I went to another city to take the exam. it was him (leberer) He took me, and we talked for an hour and a half. Really nice to hear the stories of the army about how dedicated he was.”

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It is with this atmosphere that Roberto Faria hopes to be able to turn that childhood portrait into reality. “Formula 1 is my main objective. It’s not just on me, it depends on many factors, but one of them is to be part of the academy that supports”, he explains. “We talked with him over lunch, and he told me the fact that I was a Brazilian is because Formula 1 is interested in a Brazilian driver. He says he misses a Brazilian on the grid.”

About the author: Sarah Gracie

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