2020 Toyota Racing Series Champion Igor Fraga says he is expecting nothing shy of strong performances during his rookie season in FIA Formula 3.
Having defeated Kiwi ace Liam Lawson in a season-long dual on his TRS debut, the 20-year-old has since completed three full days of testing with his new Charouz Racing System outfit.
And while the start of the racing year has been halted amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, Fraga says the short period of testing he did have has been vital amongst his pre-season preparation as he adopts to an all new race car.
“I feel ready for it, there will be lot for me to learn and I can’t wait to really start the season,” Fraga told The Chequered Flag.
“It was really good that we had 3 days of testing in Bahrain before we really start the season, and there I could learn a lot and have also a much better idea to what to expect.
“I also could understand where I was strong and where I was lacking so now that unfortunately there is no racing activities I’m focusing to work and return mentally, physically and driving wise better prepared.”
The young Brazilian went on to explain that this period of hiatus in his racing calendar has meant there has been an increase on the emphasis of maintaining his fitness levels.
“I’m doing physical training every day in order to improve my conditions. On the past years was tough for me to build a plan and follow it, since we didn’t have a fixed place to stay.
“Also, I had to dedicate a lot to be able to race at first, getting in touch with companies, producing some presentation content, in 2018 I was even helping my dad which was the mechanic of my car. There was a lot going on and I’m using this time now to focus on this point to return better prepared. It’s a lot more intense than previous years.”
Fraga’s raise to single-seater success has been well documented. An ardent sim racer, Fraga won the inaugural Gran Turismo Nations Cup and the McLaren Shadow sim-racing competition back in 2018.
With the extended break in the racing year, more and more drivers have begun to turn their attention to the realm of virtual racing to continue to refine their racecraft. But with his knowledge of sim-racing, Fraga was quizzed whether he believes it could lead to him having an advantage once racing resumes.
“It’s difficult to say If it’s an advantage,” he added. “But on my personal experiences it definitely helped me to get better on the driving.
“It is very competitive and also have lot of talented virtual racers, so it really forces you to surpass limits to stay on a high level and this is a really good training.”
A rescheduled season-opener to the 2020 F3 season is slated to begin on July 3-5 as a part of a revised Austrian Grand Prix weekend.