GP3 Series

2018 GP3 Series: Yas Marina Circuit – Talking Points

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Anthoine Hubert - Champion Shoot
Credit: Zak Mauger / GP3 Series Media Service.

The 2018 GP3 Series came to its close last weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Leonardo Pulcini and Nikita Mazepin claimed the final two victories of the year.

Anthoine Hubert was crowned champion after Saturday’s Feature Race, and ended up sixteen points head of Mazepin.

As a result Hubert is the ninth and final champion in the series, which merges with the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for 2019.

Callum Ilott recovered from a disappointing weekend at the Sochi Autodrom to secure third in the championship.

Costly Penalties

Penalties became the focal point of the weekend.

In both races drivers were given time penalties for infringements.

Mazepin, was handed a ten second penalty during the Feature Race for leaving the track and gaining an advantage into the marina chicane.

The Russian ran off the track whilst battling with Pulcini for the race lead, as he did not rejoin in the appropriate manner – by going round a bollard he was penalised.

As a result, he crossed the line in second but this became sixth once his penalty was applied.

Similarly, Jehan Daruvala – in his debut weekend in the series – was also penalised for the same offence and was down in nineteenth.

On Sunday, it was much the same with Juan Manuel Correa and Giuliano Alesi both receiving five second penalties for not abiding by the VSC time.

At the time the pair were running in first and second, with Alesi being demoted down the field by others on a charge.

The Frenchman ended up outside of the points in tenth.

Correa managed to hold on, with the American maintaining the lead until the final lap when Mazepin saw his opportunity to take the win on track.

The Jenzer Motorsport driver was classified sixth in the end.

Hubert Crowned Champion

Arriving at the finale, Hubert had a 32 point advantage over his ART Grand Prix team-mate.

With Mazepin taking the four bonus points for pole, the gap closed to 27 ahead of the first race of the weekend.

Hubert, knew if Mazepin won he only needed third to be crowned champion.

The job was made easier for the Frenchman, when Mazepin was handed a penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

With third behind Pulcini and David Beckmann, Hubert had done enough to be the 2018 Champion with a race to spare.

It was a good thing too that he had done so as in the Sprint Race, a collision with Pulcini and Beckmann meant he was forced to retire on the opening lap.

Farewell GP3

After nine seasons, it was time to say farewell to the GP3 Series.

The weekend marked its finale, with Saturday’s race actually the 150th of the championship.

ART will go down as the dominant force, winning eight of the nine Teams’ Championships and six of the Drivers’ Championships – including the last four back-to-back.

They will enter into the new F3 championship and will once again be the team to beat.

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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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