GP3 Series

Preview: 2018 GP3 Series – Hungaroring

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2017 GP3 Series - Hungaroring
Credit: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service

The GP3 Series returns to action this weekend at the Hungaroring with Anthoine Hubert heading the championship standings.

Racing resumes after a three week break, with the drivers going on their summer break following this round.

As the series reaches its half-way point, Hubert is just six points ahead of ART Grand Prix team-mate Callum Ilott with it all still to play for.

Last time out, Hubert claimed his second victory in the GP3 – but the first on track – with Pedro Piquet leading a Trident 1-2-3 on Sunday.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017 AT THE HUNGARORING?

In 2017 it was Jake Aitken who took the points for pole position.

The Briton started ahead of ART team-mates George Russell and Nirei Fukuzumi.

It was a race to forget for Russell, who was not able to make the start for Saturday’s Feature Race after suffering technical gremlins on the formation lap and was forced to park up.

An early safety car was necessary after Tatiana Calderon and Arjun Maini parked up on track, the latter of whom had been having issues on the grid. \

Racing had barely been going again when a virtual safety car was called for a stranded Steijn Schothorst.

Aitken took the victory with Fukuzumi second, as Hubert came through to make it an ART 1-2-3.

On Sunday, it was Giuliano Alesi who emerged victorious for Trident.

The Frenchman had taken his maiden win at the previous round at Silverstone and was once again impressive in the Sprint Race.

A number of drivers suffered punctures during the race, with some being forced to retire as a result.

Alesi was able to control the pace out front to finish six tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Ryan Tveter. 

It was an all Trident 1-2-3-4 as Kevin Jörg completed the podium with Dorian Boccolacci in fourth.

You can read the full reports of what happened last year here: Feature Race Sprint Race

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME AT SILVERSTONE?

Heading to Silverstone, Ilott had been on top of the standings after a strong weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

On Friday, Hubert stormed to the first pole position of his GP3 career by just over a tenth over team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

Hubert followed it up with the Feature Race victory on Saturday.

The Frenchman had to contend with: a slow getaway, two Virtual Safety Cars and one full safety car to take his first on track victory.

Julien Falchero and Juan Manuel Correa caused the first of the VSCs, as the pair were forced to retire after making contact. The action resumed on lap 4.

But, it had only just got going again when another VSC was called for when Calderon and Gabriel Aubry made contact at Luffield – resulting in suspension damage for the Frenchman.

When action resumed, it was not for much longer for Calderon who ground to a halt at Stowe as a result of damage sustained in the incident to bring out the full safety car.

All of that in the space of six laps.

Mazepin, was able to reel in Hubert at one stage of the race but the Frenchman was once again able to break clear of the Russian behind.

Hubert still had life in his tyres and stretched his advantage to almost four seconds over Mazepin.

Ilott joined the pair on the podium to make it an ART 1-2-3.

Alesi was eighth to start from reverse grid pole and was optimistic of repeating the result of one year before.

On Sunday, it was Pedro Piquet who claimed the Sprint Race victory.

The Brazilian had got a better start than polesitter Alesi and was able to take the lead into Turn 1.

Out of sorts after losing the lead, Alesi was under pressure from Leonardo Pulcini but reestablished himself to set about chasing down Piquet.

Tveter, in fourth was under attack from Hubert who had fought his way through from eighth on the grid. The American was able to put some breathing space between them after passing Pulcini for third.

Hubert was soon chasing the American’s tail once again after he had passed Pulcini as well.

It had been a difficult weekend for ART’s Jake Hughes which showed no sign of improving after contact with Niko Kari in the gravel, though the Finn was deemed at fault having run Hughes out of room.

David Beckmann also found himself in the gravel after Joey Mawson lost the rear of his Arden International and made contact with the German.

A VSC period was deployed to collect the stranded cars of Kari, Julien Falchero and Aubry.

Racing resumed on the final lap but no one was able to take advantage of the final lap sprint.

Piquet took victory by almost a second and a half over Alesi with Tveter joining them on the podium for a Trident 1-2-3.

It was made all the more special as Nelson Piquet and Jean Alesi joined their sons in celebrating on the podium.

WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKEND?

FRIDAY 27 July

Free Practice: 9.30 CEST

SATURDAY 28 JULY

Qualifying: 10:45

Feature Race: 18:30

SUNDAY 29 JULY

Sprint Race: 10:05

WHERE CAN I WATCH GP3 AT THE HUNGARORING?

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?

Keep an eye on The Checkered Flag where all the latest news and session reports will be posted throughout the weekend!

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