Dorian Boccolacci finally claimed the elusive maiden GP3 Series victory at the Yas Marina Circuit.
A strong start before overtaking team-mate Ryan Tveter early on in the race handed the Frenchman on the win. The Trident duo were joined by Daniel Ticktum on the podium.
Poleman, Tveter made the perfect start to lead Boccolacci, Steijn Schothorst, Alessio Lorandi, Ticktum, Arjun Maini, Niko Kari and George Russell.
Boccolacci was soon all over the rear of the American ahead, Ticktum putting pressure on Lorandi and Kari squeezing by Maini for sixth.
It took Boccolacci just two laps to make a move stick on Tveter to lead away from the pack. Russell and Maini were involved in a tense duel as they swapped positions lap after lap.
Ticktum was not as interesting in engaging in a tense battle and saw an opportunity to blast past Lorandi and took it.
On the next lap the Briton attempted the same move on Schothorst, who closed the door on his opponent. However, Ticktum managed to squeeze past but in doing so took all four wheels over the white line and received a five second penalty as a result.
Lorandi looked to attempt the same move a lap later but damaged his front wing on the Dutchman’s rear tyre, resulting in a pitstop for the Italian.
On lap 11, Russell finally made a move stick on Maini and headed off after Kari who in turn was closing down Schothorst. Just two laps later the trio were running on the same piece of tarmac with the Dutchman and the Finn colliding to hand the positions to the champion.
Ahead, Ticktum had managed to displace Tveter for second on the road and set about getting enough time advantage over fourth to confirm a podium finish.
As the flag dropped, Boccolacci cruised to a simple victory with Ticktum crossing the line in second which became third after his punishment. Tveter made it a Trident 1-2 with Russell coming home in fourth ahead of Anthoine Hubert, Kari, Bruno Baptista who held off Maini to take seventh by 0.1 seconds.
Following the race Kari was handed a ten second penalty after the stewards had judged him to have caused a collision with Schothorst at turn 14 on the final lap. The Finn is now classified P13
Baptista was handed a five second penalty after it was agreed he had left the track and gained an advantage whilst overtaking Kari and Maini. Original classed as finishing in seventh the Brazilian is now classified in ten.
As a result, Maini is now sixth with Kevin Jörg and Jack Aitken being promoted to points finishes.
The 2017 GP3 Series comes to a close with George Russell crowned champion ahead of team-mates Jack Aitken and Nirei Fukuzumi, and (with Hubert) their ART Grand Prix team was once again Teams’ Champion ahead of Trident and Jenzer Motorsports.
2017 GP3 Series Sprint Race Results – Yas Marina
|4||3||George Russell||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+9.981|
|5||4||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||ART Grand Prix||+13.169|
|6||5||Niko Kari**||FIN||Arden International||+17.323|
|8||24||Arjun Maini||IND||Jenzer Motorsport||+18.681|
|10||1||Jack Aitken||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+20.745|
|12||27||Raoul Hyman||RSA||Campos Racing||+23.946|
|13||23||Juan Manuel Correa||ITA||Jenzer Motorsport||+26.766|
|14||2||Nirei Fukuzumi||JPN||ART Grand Prix||+27.607|
|16||26||Julien Falchero||FRA||Campos Racing||+31.359|
|17||22||Alessio Lorandi||ITA||Jenzer Motorsport||+77.433|
|18||7||Steijn Schothorst||NED||Arden International||DNF|
|DNF||28||Marcos Siebert||ARG||Campos Racing||DNF|
|DNF||6||Leonardo Pulcini||ITA||Arden International||DNF|
*Ticktum received a five second penalty in the race which dropped him from second to third.
**Kari was handed a 10 second penalty by the stewards following the race, demoting him to thirteenth place.
***Baptista was penalised five seconds and therefore is classified in tenth.