GP3 Series

Felix Da Costa Storms To Race 1 Win In Hungary

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

Antonio Felix da Costa scored a second commanding win of the GP3 season in the opening race at the Hungaroring.

The Portuguese ace began the race on the front row alongside Aaro Vainio, but the Finn got a poor launch. Felix da Costa had points leader Mitch Evans for company under braking for turn one, but eased the Kiwi over the kerb on the exit.

The fast-starting Daniel Abt and his Lotus teammate Vainio demoted Evans to fourth as a result, but Mark Webber's protégé faught back, taking Vainio at turn two and then diving down the inside of Abt at turn three, before the German retook the place at the inside of turn five.

Up front, Felix da Costa drove away from the opposition to take a comfortable four second victory and add to his similarly untroubled win at Silverstone. He took the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate tour. It gave the Carlin team another win following their maiden GP2 victory with Max Chilton, and they also won in British F3 earlier in the day with Carlos Sainz Jr.

Evans hounded Abt until the checkered flag but was unable to find a way through and had to settle for third, but the result still extended his points lead.

Vainio had set a dominant pace in Friday practice and again in qualifying on Saturday morning, but could not repeat that in the race. On lap two he was relegated to fifth by Kevin Ceccon, who made great progress from seventh on the grid.

Vainio stayed on the Italian's tail but did not get close enough to pass, and was himself chased across the line by Conor Daly, who maintained his sixth-place starting slot, and Matias Laine, who made up two places at the start.

David Fumanelli took eighth place and the reverse grid pole position, ahead of a battle for ninth between Status Grand Prix teammates Marlon Stockinger and Lewis Williamson. Stockinger started the race fourth on the grid but fell to ninth at the start, and was passed on lap two by series returnee Williamson who had moved forward from his starting position of 13th. Stockinger re-took the place on lap 12 and held it until the finish.

Giovanni Venturini took 11th, ahead of Robert Visoiu and Tio Ellinas, who survived a first lap tangle with William Buller that saw the Northern Irishman pit for repairs. Local hero Tamas Pal Kiss recovered to 14th after starting down in 20th.

Alex Brundle took 15th, ahead of Patric Niderhauser who stalled from tenth on the grid. Alex Fontana finished 17th on his return after getting by Facu Regalia, the man who raced his Jenzer machine in Silverstone. Alice Powell finished right behind the Argentine and eight seconds ahead of Vicky Piria.

Robert Cregan, Ethan Ringel and Buller completed the finishers, while Carmen Jorda stopped with two laps to go. Dmitry Suranovich retired in the pits two laps into the race, joining his Marussia Manor teammate Fabiano Machado on the sidelines. The Brazilian didn't start the race due to back pain following his heavy impact at Hockenheim less than a week ago.

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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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