Anthoine Hubert overcame a truncated race to claim his first on-the-road victory in GP3 as ART Grand Prix dominated with a podium lockout at Silverstone.
The Frenchman, who’s debut series win came in the first race in France after Dorian Boccolacci was disqualified, had to overcome two virtual safety car periods and one full safety car to score victory and, in turn, claim the championship lead back from ART team-mate Callum Ilott, who could only finish third. Ilott did claim the fastest lap bonus points to limit the damage.
In between the top two in the championship came the third ART of Nikita Mazepin. The Russian got a good start from second on the grid but the number of safety car periods early in the race slowed his challenge to Hubert, who set two fastest laps in a row after the main safety car period to break the DRS range of one second. It was still an important podium for Mazepin, who made the rostrum for the first time since the opening race of the season in Barcelona.
With ART dominating, it was down to Trident’s Ryan Tveter to lead the chasing pack. After applying pressure to Ilott early on, the American dropped back to finish four seconds behind the podium finishers. It was a welcome result for Tveter, who is fighting back from a slow start to the season, and took advantage of a very slow start from team-mate Giuliano Alesi from third.
MP Motorsport’s Dorian Boccolacci continued his strong season with fifth place. Boccolacci lost the position to Leonardo Pulcini after the safety car but stayed calm and kept his tyres in good condition to attack Pulcini late on, overtaking the Italian with DRS into Stowe with four laps to go.
Pulcini crossed the line in sixth but was placed under investigation for his robust defence of the position from the second Trident of Pedro Piquet, a move the Brazilian later labelled ‘dangerous’ after he hit the back of Pulcini as the Italian defended down the hanger straight.
There was an intense battle for eighth place and for reverse grid pole. Arden’s Joey Mawson had defended the position throughout the race, a strong defensive drive which is becoming regular from Mawson, but with one lap to go, Alesi finished his recovery drive from a slow start by moving past the driver from New Zealand with the help from DRS.
This gave Alesi pole position for tomorrow’s race around the Northamptonshire circuit whilst Mawson had to settle with ninth.
Tenth place went to the fourth Trident of Alessio Lorandi. The Italian, who is still driving with a broken collarbone, stalled off the start but fought back from last place to beat MP Motorsport’s Niko Kari to the final point.
It was a bad day for both Arden International and Jenzer Motorsport. Both teams lost two of their three cars in the opening laps, including both losing a car each in the opening corner, Juan Manuel Correa for Jenzer and Julien Falchero for Arden.
The fourth ART of Britain’s Jake Hughes, who won the second race in Austria, retired on lap 13 with a mechanical issue whilst fighting for eighth place and reverse grid pole.