Vainio Controls First GP3 Race In Monaco

Aaro Vainio - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service
Vainio won a processional first GP3 race in Monaco - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service

Aaro Vainio scored his first ever win in single-seaters in the GP3 Series' first ever race in Monaco.

The 18-year-old Finn controlled the race from pole position for Lotus GP to extend the championship lead that he claimed when he topped qualifying on Friday. It made for a successful return to the Principality for Vainio, who won the Monaco Kart Cup in 2008.

His teammate at Tech 1 from last season Tamas Pal Kiss finished less than two seconds behind after getting the jump on front row starter Kevin Ceccon at the beginning of the race.

Ceccon, the only driver in the field who entered the weekend with experience of the track, finished a lonely third. He did set the fastest lap on the very last tour.

David Fumanelli finished fourth after getting past MW Arden teammate and title favourite Mitch Evans at the start. The Kiwi tried his best to get by, including ramming Fumanelli under braking at Massenet early on after running side-by-side up the hill from Ste Devote.

Daniel Abt and Antonio Felix Da Costa finished just behind Evans, the latter having made up a couple of places at the start. One of those was when Conor Daly stalled, the American also receiving a drive-through penalty for a jump start and then failing to make the finish after a collision at Neuvelle chicane on the last lap.

The other man to drop behind Felix Da Costa was Marlon Stockinger, who finished eighth after keeping Tio Ellinas at bay. Alex Brundle completed the top ten ahead of fellow Brits Alice Powell and Will Buller.