GP3: Leclerc overcomes bad start, rain for win

GP3: Leclerc overcomes bad start, rain for win

Formula 3

GP3: Leclerc overcomes bad start, rain for win

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Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc made it two GP3 Saturday-race wins out of two with a superb performance at the Red Bull Ring.

Leclerc lost his pole advantage at the start and dropped as low as third, but battled back into the lead by the end of the opening lap. Alexander Albon got the jump on the sister ART Grand Prix machine of Leclerc, with Ralph Boschung swooping his Koiranen GP car around the outside into second at Turn 1. But Leclerc got Boschung on the brakes into Turn 2, and even from his tight line got a quicker exit than Albon.

The duo ran together down to Turn 3, with Albon slightly ahead, before Leclerc dived through on the inside.

Leclerc stormed to a 6.5-second lead by lap 18 of 24 when, much like the preceding GP2 race, a sudden shower of rain struck at Turn 2. Leclerc, Albon and Nyck de Vries all skated off the track at this point, but such was their advantage that they continued without losing any positions.

A cautious Leclerc let Albon slice the gap to 3.0s before he stabilised it, then took it easy on the last lap to cross the line 2.2s clear.

De Vries, who divebombed Koiranen duo Boschung and Matt Parry simultaneously into Turn 3 on the opening lap, completed an ART whitewash of the podium.

After the rain, Boschung lost his fourth place to Oscar Tunjo, only for the Jenzer Motorsport man to pick up a black-and-orange flag because his mirrors had worked loose. The Colombian pitted with a lap to go, promoting Boschung back to fourth.

Antonio Fuoco made good progress in his Trident car. The Ferrari junior got the jump on Jake Hughes as an early virtual safety car ended, and then passed Parry after the rain. Parry tried his best to get back ahead, but Fuoco clung on for fifth from the Welshman.

The fourth ART car of Nirei Fukuzumi scrapped mightily with DAMS man Hughes in the closing laps and finally claimed seventh, with Hughes moving onto reversed-grid pole thanks to Tunjo’s late pit stop.

Arden-run Renault junior Jack Aitken climbed the order from a disappointing qualifying session to take what became ninth from the Trident car of Sandy Stuvik with a few laps remaining.

The virtual safety car was caused when Jake Dennis parked on the pit straight at the end of lap three, having been hit by Santino Ferrucci at Turn 1 on the opening lap, an incident for which Ferrucci was penalized 10 seconds.

RESULTS – 24 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Charles Leclerc ART Grand Prix 35m01.756ss
2 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 35m04.048ss
3 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 35m10.705ss
4 Ralph Boschung Koiranen GP 35m13.596ss
5 Antonio Fuoco Trident 35m14.887ss
6 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 35m17.250ss
7 Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 35m18.450ss
8 Jake Hughes DAMS 35m20.256ss
9 Jack Aitken Arden International 35m20.885ss
10 Sandy Stuvik Trident 35m22.482ss
11 Artur Janosz Trident 35m44.870ss
12 Akash Nandy Jenzer Motorsport 35m47.280ss
13 Kevin Jorg DAMS 35m47.377ss
14 Oscar Tunjo Jenzer Motorsport 35m47.875ss
15 Santino Ferrucci DAMS 35m48.290ss
16 Alex Palou Campos Racing 35m49.428ss
17 Tatiana Calderon Arden International 35m56.135ss
18 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 34m26.675ss
19 Richard Gonda Jenzer Motorsport 34m27.455ss
20 Steijn Schothorst Campos Racing 35m23.225ss
Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 7m06.210ss
Jake Dennis Arden International 4m32.203ss
Giuliano Alesi Trident

 

Originally on Autosport.com

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