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Sport Bortolotti about missed F1 chance at Red Bull: "Marko Knallhart, but fair!"

10:00  08 august  2022
10:00  08 august  2022 Source:   de.motorsport.com

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Before Lamborghini works driver and DTM leader Mirko Bortolotti became one of the best GT3 pilots in the world, the Italian living in Vienna was even allowed to dream of a Formula 1 career. Because in 2009 Helmut Marko brought the 19-year-old to his Red Bull junior program before he moved to the Ferrari-Driver Academy in 2010.

But how close was Bortolotti, who was traded as a replacement after Felipe Massa's Hungarian crash in 2009, really on a Formula 1 cockpit? "It would have been the most realistic in retrospect at Red Bull if I would have successfully further shaped my way there," said Bortolotti in an interview with 'Motorsport.com'. "Then I would probably have received the chance of a Formula 1 cockpit."

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in the Red Bull junior program, at least in his time, "the most fairest was handled with the drivers," recalls Bortolotti. "It may not look like that for one or the other driver because he didn't get what he expected. It can quickly go through it as unfair. But as far as I am concerned, it was very fair."

Bortolotti: Markos Red Bull program "The fairest"

This also attributes Bortolotti to Marko, for whom only performance counts. "You know where you are," said Bortolotti. "I prefer someone to tell me what he thinks of me. And gives clear guidelines: 'That and that has to happen, then we can do that and that.' That's why I count Helmut to the people who are tough. But it is also a tough business. "

But how was Bortolotti discovered at all? In 2008, the Youngster born in Trento received a Ferrari-Formula 1 test and surprisingly undertaken the round record for his title in the Italian Formula 3 championship and undercut the round record in Fiorano.

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He also excited Marko's interest, who quickly got the talented pilot on board. But why did Bortolotti voluntarily decide to remain with Red Bull at the end of 2009 after fourth place in Formula 2?

Why Bortolotti 2010 from Red Bull to Ferrari switched

"I decided not to continue with Red Bull, but to switch to the Ferrari Academy because Red Bull would have offered another year in Formula 2", goes Bortolotti into detail. "Ferrari was the better option on paper at the time, but it didn't turn out that." In 2010,

in the GP3 series won twice as many points as his two Addax teammates, but did not get past eleventh place in the championship. And was dropped by Ferrari at the end of the year. "At Ferrari, the chance was low from the start," says Bortolotti afterwards.

Valtteri Bottas, Mirko Bortolotti © provided by Motorsport.com Valtteri Bottas, Mirko Bortolotti

Formula 1 test Without Perspective: Bortolotti next to test drivers Bottas 2011 at Williams

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Photo: Williams

The following year he tried a second time - but this time on his own - Luck in Formula 2 and won the title. As a reward, a Formula 1 test in Williams waved after the season finale. "It was already clear to me before the Abu Dhabi test in 2011 that this would probably be the last Formula 1 test," said Bortolotti. "You have to be realistic in life."

How big was Chance in 2009 on Massa-Cockpit?

It was a "pure price test for winning the title" - "nothing more and nothing less". And so Bortolotti sat in a current Formula 1 car and was only slightly slower than the then test driver Valtteri Bottas, but was there without perspectives. And made a career after the formula space burst in the GT3 sport.

But what was really about the rumors in 2009 that he should replace in Formula 1 Massa in Ferrari? "At that time it was speculated that I should take over the cockpit of Felipe," says Bortolotti himself.

"But that was not the case first because I was under contract with Red Bull. Second, I was never contacted by Ferrari, a formula -1 race to drive, although the test in November 2008 was very positive, "he says plainly. At that time, the hapless Luca Badoer, who was replaced by Kimi Raikkonen teammate as a teammate by Kimi Raikkonen a little later.

with image material of Motorsport Images .

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