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Race Report

Gran Premio d’Italia 2011 Monza

Circuit: Monza (I), Length 5.793 km, 10th / 11th September 2011, Rounds 15 & 16

Nico Müller (CH), Maxim Zimin (RUS) and Christophe Hurni (CH)

Podium for Müller in the last race

The GP3 Series met up at the very fast Monza (I) circuit, as ever racing as one of the support races for the Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia 2011. This was their eighth and last outing supporting the 2011 Grand Prix Programme.

Race One Qualifying

Saturday, 10/09/11, 08.45 – 09.15, Weather: Sunny, 20°C

In good sunny conditions qualifying turned out to be very interesting indeed, with the closing minutes proving particularly decisive. Nico managed a superb lap and secured 2nd place on the grid with it, while Maxim, who had made the acquaintance of the tyre wall at the Parabolica corner yesterday in free practice and had damaged his car heavily, was 21st by the end. 48-year old Christophe Hurni (CH), who replaced Alex Fontana (CH) in the third race car, did very well and was only 2.5 seconds of pole today, meaning he would start the race from 30th on the grid.

Race One Grid
1st Adrien Quaife-Hobbs (GB) Marussia Manor 1:43.788
2nd Nico Müller (CH) Jenzer Motorsport 1:43.850
3rd Ryo Haryanto (INA) Marussia Manor 1:43.943
20th Maxim Zimin (RUS) Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.981
30th Christophe Hurni (CH) Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.355


GP3 Series

Race One (30 Minutes)

Saturday, 10/09/11, 17.20, Weather: Sunny, 27°C

The race was exciting from the start, with Quaife-Hobbs taking the lead and Nico slotting in in 2nd ahead of Bottas, who managed a super start. A tremendous battle developed then with Haryanto pushing Bottas hard, Bottas pushing Nico hard, and Nico pushing Quaife-Hobbs equally hard. It took several laps but Nico eventually found a way past Quaife-Hobbs in a beautiful overtaking manoeuvre, to take the lead. Behind him the battle for positions raged all the way to the flag, Calado joining in as well, after he and Bottas and Calado deliberately sat out the second free practice especially to save their tyres for this race, and to give themselves the best chance in the fight for the championship. On lap 10 Bottas managed to take the lead from Nico, but not before they had swapped places a couple of times. Calado was now 3rd and determined to hunt Bottas down, and Nico just couldn’t stop him, having to cede 2nd place to him. Then Quaife-Hobbs made a mistake and landed in the tyre wall at Ascari which meant the Safety Car had to be deployed, taking charge of the field for two laps. At the restart there were just three laps left and Nico faced a fight for 3rd with Haryanto, the two of them changing place several times, Nico overtaking Haryanto before the Parabolica on the last lap. This of course enabled Haryanto to get past Nico at the end of the corner once again, coming out of his slipstream to do so. Nico finished a super race a little disappointed to be 4th and not on the podium. Things were far worse for Maxim; shortly after the start he couldn’t change gears, and had to park the car trackside with a hydraulic problem. Christophe, on the other hand, started well and drove a very steady race. After the restart he was able to improve yet again and overtook Williamson, also coming home ahead of the more experienced Chaves and Stockinger, who both made mistakes on the final lap. Christophe was very happy with 16th out of 22 classified drivers, and moved up another place on the grid for race two after Stanaway was handed a post-race penalty for causing an avoidable collision and Christophe therefore moved up a place on the grid for race two.
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 finishing order in the first race.

Results Race One
1st Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Lotus ART 30:03.132  
2nd James Calado (GB) Lotus ART Gap 0.378
3rd Ryo Haryanto (INA) Marussia Manor Gap 1.513
4th Nico Müller (CH) Jenzer Motorsport    
16th Christophe Hurni (CH) Jenzer Motorsport    
DNF: Maxim Zimin (RUS) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Ryo Haryanto (INA) in 2:33.485


Race Two Grid
1st Mitch Evans (NZ) MW Arden  
2nd Antonio Felix da Costa (P) Status GP  
3rd Conor Daly (USA) Carlin  
5th Nico Müller (CH) Jenzer Motorsport  
15th Christophe Hurni (CH) Jenzer Motorsport  
29th Maxim Zimin (RUS) Jenzer Motorsport  


GP3 Series

Race Two (30 Minutes)

Sunday, 11/09/11, 08.55, Weather: Sunny, 20°C

Another very exciting race, the final one of this season, took place on Sunday morning, once again under a bright blue sky. Nico was 7th after the start, but only two laps later he was already up to 5th. He managed to pass Trummer for 4th, then set about fighting with Calado, Evans, da Costa and Haryanto as they battled over every meter of the track. It was a hard race as the five of them battled continuously for positions, the order changing nearly every lap. Shortly before the end Calado made contact with Evans, and Evans spun off the track, ending up stuck in the gravel trap. Calado was awarded a Drive Through penalty for this, which turned into a 20 second penalty as he didn’t serve the penalty during the race. The finishing order was da Costa from Calado, Haryanto and Nico, but because of Calado’s penalty Nico was able to enjoy the last podium place. This 3rd place meant that he collected more useful points, and finished this very competitive season just two points shy of 3rd, an excellent 4th in the overall standings. Maxim started a long way back and was able to improve his position, first swapping places with Ghirelli, but later managing to break away from Ghirelli and move up the order. He finished an exciting race in 16th. Although Christophe started well in the midfield, he didn’t want to get into a fight with the young, brave drivers around him, instead driving a steady race to come home in a very respectable 20th place.

Results Race Two
1st Antonio Felix da Costa (P) Status GP 28:28.328  
2nd Ryo Haryanto (INA) Marussia Manor Gap 0.720
3rd Nico Müller (CH) Jenzer Motorsport Gap 1.283
16th Maxim Zimin (RUS) Jenzer Motorsport    
20th Christophe Hurni (CH) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Valtteri Bottas (FIN) in 1:44.801


Championship final standings after 16 races:

1st Valtteri Bottas (FIN), 62 points; 2nd James Calado (GB), 55 points; 3rd Nigel Melker (NL), 38 points; 4th Nico Müller (CH), 36 points; 4th Adrien Quaife-Hobbs, 36 points; 6th Alexander Sims (GB), 34 points; 24th Alex Fontana (CH), 1 point


2011 GP3 Series

7th/8th May 2011 Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul (TK)
21st/22nd May Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana 2011 Barcelona (E)
25th/26th June 2011 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe Valencia (E)
9th/10th July 2011 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
23rd/24th July Formel 1 Grosser Preis von Deutschland 2011 Nürburgring (D)
30th/31st July Formula 1 Ing Magyar Nagydij 2011 Budapest (HU)
27th/28th August 2011 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
10th/11th September Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia 2011 Monza (I)

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