Valtteri Bottas has won the 2011 GP3 Series title after holding off teammate and title rival James Calado to win a thrilling Race 1 at Monza.
The ART duo, separated by five points in the standings at the start of the race, began from the third row of the grid but Bottas worked his way into the lead where he was soon joined by Calado.
The safety car made an appearance when polesitter and early leader Adrian Quaife-Hobbs went off, and after the restart Bottas successfully kept Calado at bay to win the race by just 0.3 seconds. That result extended his standings lead to seven points. While Calado would be able to tie with Bottas by winning Race 2 and taking the fastest lap should the Finn not score, he would only have two victories to Bottas' four.
At the start of the race, Quaife-Hobbs maintained his lead from pole position ahead of Nico Muller, while Bottas had moved past both Mitch Evans and Rio Haryanto into third place. Bottas initially lost third again to Haryanto, but soon took it back as Muller passed Quaife-Hobbs for the lead. Bottas then passed Quaife-Hobbs for second, who was soon knocked off the podium by Calado.
Bottas stole the lead from Muller a couple of laps later, and although the Swiss driver fought back a couple of times he could not hold on and soon lost second place to Calado, shortly before Quaife-Hobbs crashed at Ascari out of fourth place. After the restart Muller came under attack from Haryanto and the pair continually swapped positions in the closing laps with the Indonesian eventually winning out to take the final podium spot.
Simon Trummer climbed two places from his grid slot to take an impressive fifth, just ahead of Conor Daly and Antonio Felix da Costa. Mitch Evans kept Nigel Melker at bay to take the final point in eighth and the reverse grid pole for Race 2.
Race 1 results – 16 laps:
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Lotus ART||30:03.132|
|2||James Calado||Lotus ART||0.378|
|3||Rio Haryanto||Marussia Manor Racing||1.513|
|4||Nico Muller||Jenzer Motorsport||2.121|
|5||Simon Trummer||MW Arden||4.297|
|7||Antonio Felix da Costa||Status Grand Prix||4.816|
|8||Mitch Evans||MW Arden||5.937|
|9||Nigel Melker||RSC Mucke Motorsport||5.986|
|10||Richie Stanaway||Lotus ART||8.572|
|12||Michael Christensen||RSC Mucke Motorsport||12.88|
|14||Thomas Hylkema||Tech 1 Racing||17.13|
|15||Daniel Mancinelli||RSC Mucke Motorsport||17.31|
|16||Christophe Hurni||Jenzer Motorsport||24.47|
|17||Gabby Chaves||Addax Team||25.22|
|18||Lewis Williamson||MW Arden||25.94|
|19||Marlon Stockinger||Atech CRS GP||38.99|
|20||Matias Laine||Marussia Manor Racing||40.12|
|21||Alexander Sims||Status Grand Prix||+ 1 lap|
|22||Aaro Vainio||Tech 1 Racing||+ 2 laps|
|Ret||Tom Dillmann||Addax Team||13 laps|
|Ret||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||Marussia Manor Racing||10 laps|
|Ret||Nick Yelloly||Atech CRS GP||9 laps|
|Ret||Tamas Pal Kiss||Tech 1 Racing||8 laps|
|Ret||Ivan Lukashevich||Status Grand Prix||2 laps|
|Ret||Zoel Amberg||Atech CRS GP||0 laps|
|Ret||Vittorio Ghirelli||Addax Team||0 laps|
|Ret||Maxim Zimin||Jenzer Motorsport||0 laps|