GP3 Series

Preview: 2018 GP3 Series – Yas Marina Circuit

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Gabriel Aubry - GP3 Test Dec 2017
Credit: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service

After nearly two months out of action, the GP3 Series returns this weekend for the season finale.

Leading the championship is ART Grand Prix‘s Anthoine Hubert from team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

Hubert leads the standings by 32 points with 48 up for grabs.

The duo are the only drivers vying for the title with fellow ART-man Callum Ilott dropping out of contention last time out in Sochi.

What Happened at Yas Marina Last Year?

Last year, newly crowned champion George Russell made history with pole as ART claimed a clean sweep of poles.

Much of the session had been led by Macau Grand Prix winner Dan Ticktum but the Briton was pushed down the order by Russell, Leonardo Pulcini and Niko Kari.

It was Kari, who claimed the Feature Race honours. The Finn, and his team-mate Pulcini had great starts from second and third – poleman Russell had to decide who to defend and chose the Italian allowing Kari to sweep through.

Kari, controlled the race to take the victory ahead of Russell and Arjun Maini.

Pulcini had been battling Russell, eventually losing out to the Briton only for his rear left tyre to start deflating and dropping down the order before he inevitably had to retire.

Hubert had finished in eighth, and therefore reverse grid pole, however he was found to be in breach of VSC rules and was handed a five second penalty.

This meant Ryan Tveter was promoted to eighth.

Tveter made a strong start from pole ahead of Dorian Boccolacci.

Boccolacci was soon all over the rear of his tea,-mate and needed just two laps to get ahead of the American.

Ticktum was making ground up further behind, however whilst battling Steijn Schothorst the Red Bull Junior Team member put all four wheels over the white line and received as five second penalty.

Not letting this faze him, he caught and passed Tveter and set about making a strong enough gap to maintain his podium finish.

Though he crossed the line second on the road, he was third with the penalty.

What Happened Last Time Out at Sochi?

Home favourite Mazepin had been looking to start his home race on pole position.

The Russian, got the job done in qualifying but was disqualified for breaching track limits and subsequently had his lap time deleted.

As a result,  Pulcini claimed the maiden pole position of his career.

Pulcini cruised to victory from the starting position, avoiding the incidents behind, to win by almost four seconds from Mazepin.

On Sunday, David Beckmann claimed his third win of the year.

Starting from fourth, he quickly moved into third ahead of Jake Hughes.

This was soon second when Simo Laaksonen took to the escape road.

A late virtual safety car, gave Beckmann the opportunity to pass race leader Joey Mawson which he don on the final lap with the use of DRS.

Ilott dropped out of championship contention.

Having started on the front row for the Feature Race, the Briton tumbled down the order and ended in thirteenth. With Sunday’s race not fairing any better and he finished a lap down on Beckmann.

What is the Schedule for the Weekend?

Friday 23 November

Practice: 10.15 (GMT+4)

Qualifying: 15.10

Saturday 24 November

Feature Race: 12.30

Sunday 25 November

Sprint Race: 12.10

Where Can I Watch the GP3 Action from Sochi?

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