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Alesi survives last lap shootout to win GP3 sprint

by Kyran Gibbons

Photo: GP3 Series Media Service/Joe Portlock

Ferrari Driver Academy member Giuliano Alesi survived three safety car restarts – the last on the final lap – to take victory in the GP3 sprint race at Barcelona.

A wet track following overnight and morning rain made conditions treacherous and led to an incident-packed race.

Alesi vaulted from second on the grid to lead into Turn 1 after polesitter Juan Manuel Correa was slow away from the line.

ART Grand Prix’s Anthoine Hubert was the primary threat to Alesi’s lead, as he leapt from seventh on the grid to second by the end of lap 1.

Defending his lead successfully at the first two race restarts, Alesi had to complete a final safety car restart to enter the last lap of the race.

Again, he denied Hubert an opportunity to pass, setting the fastest lap of the race on the last tour, to claim his fourth GP3 reversed-grid win.

Hubert in second matched his result from Saturday’s race and now leads the championship after the opening weekend.

Like Hubert, team-mate Jake Hughes made significant progress at the start of the race. He climbed from 13th on the grid to fourth by the end of lap 1.

On lap 10 of the 17 lap race, he passed Correa at Turn 1 to earn a podium. Correa finished in fourth.

MP Motorsport’s Dorian Boccolacci and Niko Kari were drivers who made significant progress.

Boccolacci ended lap one in eighth but picked up a place on lap three when Pedro Piquet triggered the race’s first safety car intervention as he lost control on the exit of Turn 9, slamming into the inside wall. Boccolacci also passed the ART of Nikita Mazepin and later Callum Illot to finish an eventual fifth.

Kari started last and gradually progressed through the field. During the second safety car period, triggered when Gabriel Aubry was stranded in the Turn 8 gravel trap after being hit by team-mate Joey Mawson, Kari was in 10th place.

By the time the third safety car was deployed, he had reached seventh, and he passed Ilott on the final lap to snatch sixth.

Ilott in seventh was followed by the Campos Racing duo of Simo Laaksonen in eighth and Leonardo Pulcini in ninth. Saturday’s race winner Nikita Mazepin finished 10th.

Will Palmer was the only driver to start the race on slick tyres. He struggled throughout, heading through the gravel trap at Turn 8 at one point. He finished 13th.

Jenzer Motorsport’s David Beckmann and Tatianna Calderon pitted mid-race to switch to slick tyres. Calderon caused the final safety car period when she beached her car in the Turn 5 gravel trap while Beckmann trailed home 47 seconds adrift last of the finishers.


Sprint race results (16 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Giuliano Alesi Trident 33m02.326s
2 Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix +2.077s
3 Jake Hughes ART Grand Prix +2.376s
4 Juan Manuel Correa Jenzer Motorsport +3.295s
5 Dorian Boccolacci MP Motorsport +3.593s
6 Niko Kari Jenzer Motorsport +3.959s
7 Callum Ilott ART Grand Prix +4.904s
8 Simo Laaksonen Campos Racing +5.544s
9 Leonardo Pulcini Campos Racing +6.103s
10 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix +6.667s
11 Julien Falchero Arden International +8.855s
12 Diego Menchaca Campos Racing +12.369s
13 Will Palmer MP Motorsport +12.603s
14 Ryan Tveter Trident +12.641s
15 Joey Mawson Arden International +14.812s
16 Alessio Lorandi Trident +14.861s
17 David Beckmann Jenzer Motorsport +47.346s
Ret Tatiana Calderon Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Gabriel Aubry Arden International
Ret Pedro Piquet Trident
Fastest Lap: Alesi, 1m44.511s

Championship Standings
?Hubert 32? ?2 Mazepin 25? ?3 Alesi 23???4?Ilott 17? ?5?Pulcini 16? ?6?Boccolacci 16? ?7 Correa 12? ?8 Hughes 10? ?9 Beckmann 8? ?10?Kari 4