Having left the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, where he was racing for the EuroInternational team, Italian Riccardo Agostini arrived at the Red Bull Ring to make his GP3 Series debut for Hilmer Motorsport, and made an immediate positive impression.
In his first time driving a GP3 car, he was on the pace almost immediately in Austria, setting the fifth best time in the sole free practice session of the weekend, before qualifying the car in eleventh position, setting a time within six tenths of a second of pole sitter Alex Lynn.
He maintained his position at the start, and had climbed into the top ten in the race when an electrical problem saw him retire. However he had made the impression he desired, even though he was disappointed with the eventual result.
In the Sunday race two, the only Italian in the field started down in twenty-first position on the grid, but fought back tremendously to claim eleventh at the flag, only four seconds behind eighth place and his (and Hilmer Motorsports) maiden GP3 Series point. He was also one of only seven drivers to set a fastest lap time of under 1:22s.
Despite showing good speed throughout his debut weekend in both the car and the series, the Italian was slightly disappointed that luck was not on his side. He felt he could have secured points in Austria but leaves the Red Bull Ring confident heading into the next round at Silverstone.
“We were expecting even better results,” said Agostini. “But this time we haven’t been very lucky. We have a good potential, this was clear when I was fighting for the top 10. It is definitely a good first approach to the category.”