Russell bags a double podium to extend his GP3 Series lead
George Russell stormed through to 2nd in the second race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, extending his GP3 Series Championship lead after bagging a second podium in a near perfect weekend at the iconic Belgium circuit.
After taking his third victory of the season in the opening race of the weekend from pole position, Russell would start race two in the partially reversed grid from 8th position.
Russell made a good launch from his starting position, however lost a place during the opening lap as the field settled into position after the slipstream battles down the Kemmel Straight and into Les Combes.
The ART GP driver then began to make his move through the grid, retaking 8th position on the second lap and setting off after his rivals. Russell's pursuit was made slightly easier as teammate and championship rival Jack Aitken came together with Dorian Boccolacci on the Kemmel straight, with both men coming into the pits with damage. Aitken picked up a 10 second time penalty to put him out of contention for points.
Russell seized this opportunity to stamp his authority on the championship lead, as he set an electric pace - setting the fastest lap as he quickly dispatched Red Bull Junior Niko Kari, Julian Falchero and Ryan Tveter in quick succession, on consecutive laps to put himself up to 2nd position on lap nine.
The mission was now on bringing down the gap infront to Guiliano Alesi - however Alesi's advantage, built up in the early stages was too great for Russell to bring down, after using his DRS allocation and a lot of life from his tyres in his charge up the order. Russell finished the race in 2nd position to take a second podium of the weekend extending his lead in the drivers’ championship to 36 points over teammate Aitken.
George Russell "After yesterday’s great race and amazing pace we had, we were aiming for the podium. That’s what we did. I made quite a good start but unfortunately, I still lost a position on lap 1. After that, I was able to overtake the cars in front of me and made a great use of DRS on this track. In the end, I finished second with the fastest lap along the way. It was almost a perfect weekend with fastest lap in both races, pole and a win on Saturday."
ART GP have extended their lead in the teams championship after another large haul of points at Spa-Francorchamps.
The next round of the GP3 Series takes place at the Autodromo di Nationale Monza in just one weeks time on the 2-3 September.