Home Featured PaddockScout Awards 2014: Championship of the Year

PaddockScout Awards 2014: Championship of the Year

by Formula Scout

GP3 Award

GP3 Series

In the past few years, GP3 has become a solid career choice for those moving out of the national championships. And, despite its relatively short history, it’s already served its purpose as a junior series quite well, with its three of its four previous champions – Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas and Daniil Kvyat – having successfully made it to F1.

Just as the 2013 season ended with Red Bull?s Daniil Kvyat dominating, the 2014 edition started with another protege of the F1 team, Alex Lynn, being the class of the field. Indeed, thanks to Lynn, 2014 ended up being of the more lopsided title contests in the GP3 history, as his early-season form allowed him to confidently take the title.

The second part, however, was more about another Briton – Dean Stoneman. Stoneman, a former F2 champion, had previously had to leave junior single-seaters due to cancer, but managed to defeat it and came back this year. His sheer talent was enough for GP3 success and, once he switched to Koiranen for the final two rounds, he was pretty much unbeatable.

It was highly-rated German F3 champion Marvin Kirchhofer who followed the duo in the standings, completing an all-rookie top three.

The likes of Jimmy Eriksson, Emil Bernstorff, Nick Yelloly and a number of past GP3 race winners provided an immense boost to the grid depth, while Richie Stanaway and Matheo Tuscher have made against-odds returns to full-time single-seaters.

The early issues with the new GP3 car from 2013 weren’t quite defeated – as some of the racing was still a bit processional and qualifying reigned supreme. But it did produce a classic in the end, putting on the best race of the Formula One weekend at Sochi.

And, really, the sheer quality of the grid trumps any other concerns that could be levied against GP3 in 2014.

David Gruz

Next: Nominee 3