GP3 Series

Felix Da Costa Flies To Victory In Race 1 At Silverstone

2 Mins read
Antonio Felix Da Costa - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Media Service

Antonio Felix Da Costa claimed his first win of the GP3 Series season with a commanding victory in Race 1 at Silverstone.

Starting on a damp circuit but on slick tyres, those on the racing line on the left-hand side of the grid got better starts, allowing polesitter Mitch Evans to retain the lead off the start and Felix Da Costa follow him as second-place starter Aaro Vainio scrambled for grip.

Felix Da Costa made a confident start in the tricky conditions, taking the lead from championship leader Evans a few corners into the race at Village, around the outside.

The Portuguese Carlin driver was never headed from there onwards, extending his lead to seven seconds by the end of the 14 lap race.

Evans stayed ahead of his main title rival Vainio to finish second and extend his points lead to 11, from four at the start of the day.

Daniel Abt was a quiet fourth after getting ahead of Matias Laine at the start. Conor Daly finished a fine fifth behind his Lotus GP teammates Vainio and Abt, clawing his way back to where he had ended up in qualifying before a penalty put him 14th on the grid.

Daly had in fact done all the hard work by getting up to fifth by the end of lap six, when he passed Tio Ellinas – who himself was impressing after starting tenth. Ellinas finished just a tenth behind at the line.

Alex Brundle made a good start to move up to seventh, and although he was passed by Ellinas and Daly he would finish in the same place by passing Kevin Ceccon and then Laine. Ceccon took eighth and the reverse grid pole after getting by Laine a few laps from the end.

Patric Niederhauser recovered from a poor qualifying to take the final point in tenth ahead of Tamas Pal Kiss, who was also out of place on the grid after a penalty for ignoring yellow flags in practice on Friday.

Robert Visoiu was 12th after getting ahead of impressive debutant Giovanni Ventuini, who enjoyed a battle with fellow newcomer Facu Regalia in the middle part of the race before finishing just ahead of the Argentine.

Kotaro Sakurai failed to deliver on his eighth-place starting position and fell back to 15th, one place ahead of Status Grand Prix teammate Marlon Stockinger. The locally-based team's third driver Alice Powell was next up in 17th.

Vicky Piria was 18th, while Fabiano Machado led Robert Cregan and Antonio Spavone across the line in front of Dmitry Suranovich, who spun to the back of the pack at the end of the first lap.

Fabio Gamberini finished a lap down on his debut, while Atech CRS teammate Ethan Ringel stopped off track on the third lap.

David Fumanelli has been withdrawn from the weekend, while Carmen Jorda failed to start. Those two, together with Ringel and Powell, had been penalised two grid positions for taking the checkered flag twice at the end of qualifying.

Race two takes place at 08:30 on Sunday morning.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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