F1Weekly podcast # 696

CLARK AND NASIR INTRODUCE THE FIRST PODCAST OF 2016 with a discussion on the upcoming F1 season with the Host counting on a McLaren resurgence to the front of the spear. We have a new episode of “Loosh on the Loose” and…Special interview with Mirko Bortolotti

After karting for several years, Bortolotti began his formula racing career in 2005 by competing in the Italian Formula Renault Winter Series and Formula Gloria. He competed in the Winter Series for a further two years, with a best finish of fourth in 2006. He also drove in the Italian Formula Junior 1600 championship for this year, in addition to the Formula Azzurra championship. In the latter series he finished as runner-up in the drivers’ championship, behind winner Giuseppe Termine.

In 2007, Bortolotti moved up to Italian Formula Three, finishing fourth in the championship at his first attempt. He remained in the series for 2008, driving for the Lucidi Motors team, and won the championship with nine wins and six pole positions from the sixteen races.

Bortolotti obtained backing from Red Bull following his championship win; the company opted to place him in the relaunched FIA Formula Two Championship in2009. He drove car number 14 in the series, and finished fourth. During the break between the final two rounds of the season, Bortolotti returned to Formula Three to compete for Carlin Motorsport in the Formula 3 Euro Series season finale at Hockenheim, finishing on the podium in the second race.

Bortolotti’s next move was to the newly created GP3 Series. He drove in the 2010 season for Addax Team alongside teammates Felipe Guimarães and Pablo Sánchez López and managed some good results, finishing 11th and getting a podium in his final race.

As a reward for their performances in the 2008 Italian F3 championship, Bortolotti, Edoardo Piscopo and Salvatore Cicatelli were all given a test of the Ferrari team’s F2008 chassis at the Fiorano Circuit in November 2008. Bortolotti impressed by setting a time of 59.111 seconds, quicker than the previous fastest lap set by the F2008 at the circuit by any driver.

In 2009, among several other drivers, Bortolotti was linked to a drive with Ferrari as a replacement for injured Felipe Massa, after poor performances by Luca Badoer.

In 2011, Bortolotti was selected by Williams to appear in their car at the 2011 young drivers test in Abu Dhabi.