Luca Ghiotto takes his maiden GP3 win in Austria


Luca Ghiotto claimed his maiden GP3 win to take the lead in the drivers’ championship after a safety car interrupted race at the Red Bull Ring.

The Trident driver initially lost the lead at Turn 1 to title rival Esteban Ocon but the safety car was deployed soon after, following a big incident involving Mitch Gilbert, Keven Ceccon and Samin Gomez.

Ceccon went straight into the back of Gilbert, who stalled on the grid, and was airborn for a few seconds before being fired off in the direction of Gomez, who had nowhere to go.

The safety car was out for several laps before the debris was cleared. At the restart Ocon seemed to be pulling away from Ghiotto but ran very wide at Turn 1 which allowed Ghiotto to close up on the Frenchman.

The ART Grand Prix driver resisted numerous overtaking attempts from Ghiotto but couldn’t fight him any longer and the Italian took the lead on lap six.

From that point on Ghiotto disappeared up the road and Ocon soon had to deal with a hard-charging Anonio Fuoco.

Ferrari junior Fuoco, who started eighth on the grid, went from sixth to second in the space of five laps after completing a number of daring overtakes, most notably on the outside of Emil Bernstorff.

Ocon was able to hold on to third despite a late charge from Bernstorff.

Nissan protege Jann Mardenborough made some good progress through the field like his team-mate Fuoco, to finish fifth. Both Carlin drivers seemed to be able to handle tyre degradation very well in comparison to their rivals.

Marvin Kirchhofer fell down the order to sixth ahead of Sandy Stuvik and Jenzer Motorsport driver Ralph Boschung.

Oscar Tunjo and Alex Fontana rounded out the top 10 after Koiranen GP driver Jimmy Eriksson was forced wide and into the gravel on the final lap. The Swede fell right down the order to finish in 20th place.

Alex Palou, who started third, also had a poor race and finished in 14th after an awful start left him near the back of the field.