After one post-season and three pre-season tests it is time for the GP3 Series to get underway in 2018 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The nine round season kicks off in Spain just over a month after the final pre-season test in Catalunya.
What Happened in 2017 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?
ART Grand Prix took victory in the Feature Race with Nirei Fukuzumi, taking the win by nearly seven and a half seconds to Leonardo Pulcini. It was the Japanese driver’s second victory in the series, he has since moved onto the FIA Formula 2 Championship with BWT Arden.
The Sprint Race was won by Arjun Maini, who has also been promoted to F2 with Trident, in his only victory in the championship.
What Should I Look Out For?
Drivers have a chance to etch themselves in part of history with the imminent merger with Formula 3, meaning the championship in its current form with cease to exist.
Following two seasons in the championship DAMS have departed with their entry being taken by Dutch-outfit MP Motorsport.
Constructors champions ART remain gunning for an eighth teams’ title in nine years.
The ART trio Fukuzumi, Jack Aitken and George Russell have all moved on to the F2 – with Fukuzumi also contesting the 2018 Super Formula Championship.
As a result ART have drafted in Jake Hughes (who returns to the GP3 after a year out), Callum Ilott and Nikita Mazepin to partner alongside Anthoine Hubert who is retained from 2017.
In December, Ilott was named as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy becoming the first British member. The Briton has history with team-mate Mazepin with the Russian being banned from the European Formula 3 paddock for a weekend after a physical altercation that left Ilott with facial injuries.
Like the champions Trident will run with four drivers; Pedro Piquet, Giuliano Alesi, Ryan Tveter, and Alessio Lorandi.
Having joined the GP3 Series at the Belgian round of the 2017 championship with Jenzer Motorsport, Juan Manuel Correa remains with the team.
Appearing alongside the American will be Tatiana Cálderon who joins from DAMS, with David Beckmann joining for his rookie season.
Fielding an entirely new line up Arden International will contest the season with rookies Gabriel Aubry and Joey Mawson; they will be joined by Julien Falchero who switched from Campos Racing.
Leonardo Pulcini, Simo Laaksonen, and Diego Menchaca make up a brand new Campos line up.
Series newcomers, MP Motorsport have signed Dorian Boccolacci and Niko Kari both of whom have race wins in the series under belt.
Joining them is rookie Will Palmer.
What is the Schedule For the Weekend?
Friday 11 May
Free Practice: 9:30 CEST
Saturday 12 May
Feature Race: 10:15
Sunday 13 May
Sprint Race: 10:25
Where Can I Watch GP3 at Circuit de Catalunya?
Coverage of the entire weekend will be shown on Sky F1 in the UK and Ireland, race reruns will also be shown during the week.
How Can I Keep Up to Date with all the Action Over the Weekend?
The Checkered Flag will be providing up to date news of the opening 2018 GP3 Series race, as well as the rest of the season throughout the year.