David Beckmann took his second GP3 Series victory in commanding fashion as he led from start to finish at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in very difficult conditions on Saturday morning.
The Trident driver took his maiden victory just last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps and with the track wet following more rain around the Italian circuit and starting from pole position he was more than able to retain his lead into the first turn.
There was chaos behind him as Leonardo Pulcini, Anthoine Hubert, Juan Manuel Correa and Tatiana Calderon all went through the run-off zone at the first chicane on the opening lap, while the Jenzer Motorsport team-mates Correa and Calderon clashed at the second chicane, with the former spinning to the rear of the field.
Pulcini initially ran second for Campos Racing but was quickly overhauled by ART Grand Prix’s Hubert, with the Frenchman going on to retain that position until the chequered flag, albeit more than six seconds behind Beckmann.
It looked as though Pulcini would retain his position on the podium, but he suddenly slowed in the final laps, ultimately dropping outside the points in fourteenth, promoting Callum Ilott to the final spot on the podium after the Briton came out on top of an often-entertaining battle with ART Grand Prix team-mate Nikita Mazepin.
Mazepin had been running fourth ahead of Ilott and Campos Racing’s Simo Laaksonen only for a mistake at the second chicane on Lap eleven to allow the Briton through, while Laaksonen drove the wheels off his car and took fourth away from the Russian on the penultimate lap.
Trident duo Giuliano Alesi and Pedro Piquet finished sixth and seventh respectively ahead of MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor, who continued to show excellent race craft to climb to eight, where he finished ahead of team-mate Niko Kari and ART Grand Prix’s Jake Hughes, although ninth and tenth switch places in the final result thanks to a penalty for the Finn for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
Calderon showed early promise as she ran fifth, but she struggled for performance thereafter and slipped further and further down the field to ultimately finish fifteenth, just behind the ailing Pulcini.
There was one brief Virtual Safety Car period as Diego Menchaca found himself out of the race at the first chicane following contact from behind from Devlin DeFrancesco, who earned himself a five-second penalty for causing a collision.
Hubert’s second place saw him extend his championship advantage to twenty-nine points over Ilott ahead of Sunday’s second race, where Verschoor will line-up on pole position ahead of Piquet.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza Race 1 Result
|2||2||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||ART Grand Prix||+6.018|
|3||1||Callum Ilott||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+13.789|
|4||19||Simo Laaksonen||FIN||Campos Racing||+15.886|
|5||3||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||+16.559|
|8||22||Richard Verschoor||NED||MP Motorsport||+26.049|
|9||4||Jake Hughes||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+30.312|
|10||24||Niko Kari||FIN||MP Motorsport||+34.788|
|12||16||Joey Mawson||AUS||Arden International||+40.396|
|13||23||Devlin DeFrancesco||CAN||MP Motorsport||+42.687|
|14||18||Leonardo Pulcini||ITA||Campos Racing||+43.391|
|15||9||Tatiana Calderon||COL||Jenzer Motorsport||+44.435|
|16||11||Jannes Fittje||GER||Jenzer Motorsport||+56.185|
|17||10||Juan Manuel Correa||USA||Jenzer Motorsport||+1:16.194|
|RET||20||Diego Menchaca||MEX||Campos Racing||Retired|
|RET||15||Julien Falchero||FRA||Arden International||Retired|
|RET||14||Gabriel Aubry||FRA||Arden International||Retired|