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Race Report

2018 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Circuit: Abu Dhabi (UAE), Length 5.554 km, 23rd – 25th November 2018, Rounds 17 & 18

Tatiana Calderon (COL), Juan Manuel Correa (USA) and Jannes Fittje (D)

Podium lost due to penalty at Abu Dhabi

The GP3 Series met up for their ninth and final round of the season which was held in the spectacular setting of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, as usual on the same bill as F1.
The 2018 champion still had to be crowned. Whoever it was would, after 9 years, be the last GP3 Series champion because next year, the series will continue under a different name and with new racing cars: From 2019, the FIA Formula 3 Championship takes the place of the GP3 Series in the Formula 1 framework program.

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Race One Qualifying

Friday, 23/11/18, 15.10 – 15.40, Weather: Sunny, 27°C

Free practice took place on Friday morning, and after a long break since the last race in Sochi our drivers could hardly wait to get back in the car. Juan Manuel was 14th, Tatiana 18th and Jannes 20th. A few hours later the qualifying session started. All managed to improve and position themselves better. Juan Manuel was a very good 10th, Jannes 13th and Tatiana 14th.

Race One Grid
1st Nikita Mazepin (RUS) ART 1:54.885
2nd Leonardo Pulcini (I) Campos 1:54.952
3rd Anthoine Hubert (F) ART 1:55.041
10th Juan Manuel Correa (USA) Jenzer Motorsport 1:55.535
13th Jannes Fittje (D) Jenzer Motorsport 1:55.782
14th Tatiana Calderon (COL) Jenzer Motorsport 1:55.789

GP3 Series

Race One (40 Minutes)

Saturday, 24/11/18, 12.30, Weather: Sunny, 31°C

The race was run in the heat of the day. The start went well and an exciting fight for the championship soon developed. Juan Manuel advanced to 7th place on the first lap which meant he had to fight with Tveter and Alesi, Alesi later managing to get past Juan Manuel. That put Juan Manuel in the coveted 8th place, a position he managed to defend against Laaksonen, despite the latter’s last lap effort, and so Juan Manuel crossed the finish line in an excellent 8th place. This of course earned him pole position for the second race. Tatiana drove carefully in the early laps and held onto 14th place. Then she managed to get past Aubry and Jannes, and it wasn’t too long before she caught up with Piquet and Tveter to settle in to 10th place. In the closing laps she was ready to intervene in the fight for 8th place, but simply ran out of time in what was left of the race. Tatiana proudly brought a perfect 10th place home. Jannes started well and held his position, and then in a consistent race, in which he constantly improved his lap times, he came home safely in 13th place.

After this race, the championship winner of 2018 was crowned, with Anthoine Hubert (F) safely ahead on points now, meaning no one could catch him. The 2018 GP3 Champion follows in the footsteps of Esteban Gutiérrez, Valtteri Bottas, Mitch Evans, Daniil Kvyat, Alex Lynn, Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc and George Russell. A total of six of the previous champions since 2010 have raced, currently race or will race (Russell) in Formula One.

The grid for the second race of the weekend was set by reversing the order of the first eight finishers in the first race, with the rest of the places set according to the finishing order in the first race.

Results Race One
1st Leonardo Pulcini (I) Campos 36:04.077  
2nd David Beckmann (D) Trident Gap 8.631
3rd Anthoine Hubert (F) ART Gap 10.360
8th Juan Manuel Correa (USA) Jenzer Motorsport    
10th Tatiana Calederon (COL) Jenzer Motorsport    
13th Jannes Fittje (D) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Nikita Mazepin (RUS) in 1:59.168

Race Two Grid
1st Juan Manuel Correa (USA) Jenzer Motorsport  
2nd Jake Hughes (GB) ART  
3rd Giuliano Alesi (F) Arden  
4th Nikita Mazepin (RUS) ART  
5th Callum Ilott (GB) ART  
6th Antoine Hubert ART  
10th Tatiana Calderon (COL) Jenzer Motorsport  
13th Jannes Fittje (D) Jenzer Motorsport  

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GP3 Series

Race Two (30 Minutes)

Sunday, 25/11/18, 12.10, Weather: Sunny, 30°C

The race was again run in the heat of the day. Juan Manuel was nervous but started well and kept Alesi behind him, while behind them there was a collision involving Beckmann and Hubert. Shortly after that Piquet spun and unfortunately Jannes could not avoid him, so they too were out of the race. To enable the damaged vehicles to be cleared away, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed, and afterwards Juan Manuel managed to hold his lead at the restart, even though Alesi put a lot of pressure on him. Mazepin was also looking for a way through and soon managed to overtake Alesi. Juan Manuel led until the final lap when Mazepin implemented his last attack with the help of the DRS and was first across the finish line. Juan Manuel crossed the finish line 2nd, but he and Alesi were each given a 5-second time penalty for not complying with the lap time rules during the Virtual Safety Car phase. This meant that Juan Manuel was classified as 6th, which was a pity. It would have been nice to be able to take home a podium from the last race of the season! Tatiana started very well and immediately improved to 7th place, but at the restart she was taken by surprise and fell back to 9th. She drove very well for the rest of the race to finish 8th, which meant that both she and Juan Manuel had both scored points once more.

With this final race the 9-year racing history of the GP3 Series came to an end. Next week here in Abu Dhabi the post-season test days will be run, and we will test potential drivers for next season in the new FIA Formula 3.

Results Race Two
1st Nikita Mazepin (RUS) ART 30.16.148  
2nd Jake Hughes (GB) ART Gap 1.317
3rd Simo Laaksonen (FIN) Campos Gap 3.183
6th Juan Manuel Correa (USA) Jenzer Motorsport    
8th Tatiana Calederon (COL) Jenzer Motorsport    
DFN: Jannes Fittje (D) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Ryan Tveter (USA) in 1:59.936

Championship final standings after 18 races:

1st Anthoine Hubert (F), 214 points; 2nd Nikita Mazepin (RUS), 198 points; 3rd Callum Ilott (GB), 167 points; 4th Leonardo Pulcini (I), 156 points; 5th David Beckmann (D), 137 points; 6th Pedro Piquet (BRA), 106 points; 11th Juan Manuel Correa (USA), 42 points; 16th Tatiana Calderon (COL), 11 points

Tatiana Calderon (COL)

Juan Manuel Correa (USA)

Jannes Fittje (D)

© Photo Pellegrini

2018 GP3 Series

11/12/13 May 2018 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Catalunya (E)
22/23/24 June 2018 Formula 1 French Grand Prix Le Castellet (F)
30 Jun, 1/2 July 2018 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix RedBull Ring (A)
6/7/8 July 2018 Formula 1 British Grand Prix/td> Silverstone (GB)
27/28/29 July 2018 Formula 1 Ing Magyar Nagydij Hungaroring (HU)
24/25/26 August 2018 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
31 Aug, 1/2 September 2018 Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia Monza (I)
28/29/30 September 2018 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix Sochi (RUS)
23/24/25 November 2018 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Abu Dhabi (UEA)

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