CHAMPIONS CROWNED IN ABU DHABU
The decisive rounds of Formula 2 and GP3 crowned ART’s George Russell and Anthoine Hubert as their respective champions. This was the final round ever of GP3 – which has been equipped by Pirelli since 2010 – before it’s replaced by Formula 3 next year: again on Pirelli tyres.
Feature Race, the winner: A start-line crash provoked an early safety car and a stall for title contender Alexander Albon (DAMS) meant that Russell was practically assured of the title before the end of the first lap. The six-lap safety car provided an opportunity for drivers to remove the supersoft as soon as soon as possible: Russell was able to undercut his key rival Nyck de Vries (Prema) by stopping one lap earlier. He went on to win the race and the title.
George Russell: “It was a weekend where we could take a few risks. We decided to gamble and stop first, and it paid off: I pushed extremely hard on my out lap to jump Nyck and avoid being jumped by Artem, and it paid off and I brought it home from there.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: Campos driver Luca Ghiotto finished third from 16th on the grid. He ran a long opening stint on the soft tyre and then moved up the order as others pitted. He then ran the supersoft for the final three laps, keeping up a strong pace.
Sprint Race, the winner: Charouz’s Antonio Fuoco was the winner from second on the grid, with the whole field running on soft tyres and no pit stops. Nonetheless, the drivers had to manage the compound in warm conditions, with Carlin’s Lando Norris finishing second to claim the championship runner-up spot.
Feature Race, the winner: Campos driver Leonardo Pulcini won the race, having taken the lead on lap two and then held it all the way to the end, despite a hard-fought race. All the drivers ran on the single-compound soft compound, as per the regulations. Third place for Hubert was enough to clinch the title.
Sprint Race, the winner: ART’s Nikita Mazepin claimed his fourth win of the year – more than any other driver – on the final lap. Tyre management was key in a frantic race, with Pulcini miraculously avoiding a puncture despite a direct hit on the tyre.
Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola: “It’s been an incredible year in Formula 2, with George Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon graduating to Formula 1. This shows just how well the feeder series are preparing young drivers for the very top of motorsport; also in the way that they have to manage their tyres. The final season of GP3 was also very closely-fought, and we’re looking forward to seeing many of the stars in Formula 2 next year; including Anthoine Hubert, who wins a €200,000 scholarship from Pirelli.”
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