Anthoine Hubert remains the driver to beat in the GP3 Series standings leaving the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with the ART Grand Prix driver securing his ninth podium visit of the season on Saturday, and his fifth in as many races.
That run would come to an end in Sunday’s second race where he finished fourth and was eventually disqualified, but the Saturday race saw him trail Trident’s David Beckmann home in tricky conditions in Italy, with rain in the air and a wet track throughout.
Hubert made an early pass on Campos Racing’s Leonardo Pulcini, which he felt was pivotal to him having a good race, particularly as it drew him clear of the battle between his team-mates and championship rivals Nikita Mazepin and Callum Ilott.
“I had quite a good start, for sure better than Race 1 in Spa, but turn 1 was a bit … eventful, if I can say that!” said Hubert in the post-race press conference. “I think Leo braked quite late and went straight at the last moment, and I didn’t want to cut [the corner] but I had no choice.
“I don’t think I gained anything because into the corner David was a bit in front of us and at the second chicane he was still in front, and in fact I think he gained a little bit. Then I managed quite well to overtake Pulcini quite early, and that was important to do because otherwise I would have to battle with Nikita and Callum.
“It was drying and so every lap you had to try to be a bit better, try to find the grip as the track was drying, and every lap it was a new track, which was interesting! It was quite challenging.”
Although embroiled in a battle for the championship, Hubert insists he remains focused on doing his own job rather than worrying about what his rivals are doing, with the Frenchman being followed in the standings by team-mates Ilott and Mazepin.
“I just concentrate on my things, I have my target of points every weekend to get, and then we will see,” said Hubert, “if I do what I have to do it should not give me any problems, but Callum did a good job from P6 and hopefully it will be even better to fight with him and the other guys.”
Hubert managed to finish fourth in Sunday’s second race behind Ilott, who passed him on lap thirteen, and it looked as though the Briton was going to reduce his deficit in the championship standings. However, both he and his rival were disqualified for a tyre pressure irregularity post-race, which ensured Hubert left Italy with a twenty-nine-point advantage, over both Ilott and Mazepin.
However, although the exclusion and the loss of points was a little painful, he did not blame his team as he knows mistakes happen.
🇮🇹UPDATE! Race 2: Disqualified
Tyre pressure too low on one wheel. Nothing I can do about it. We’re a team and we keep our heads down to focus on the next round. #AH2 #Monza @ARTGP pic.twitter.com/i88X44w5Wz
— Anthoine Hubert (@AnthoineH) September 2, 2018