George Russell Crowned GP3 Series Champion in Abu Dhabi
Mercedes-AMG F1 Junior and ART GP Driver George Russell finished the final race of the season in 4th position - before being officially crowned champion in the GP3 Prize Giving in Yas Marina
Honda protégé Nirei Fukuzumi set a blazing laptime of 1:31.943 in this morning’s final testing day at the Hungaroring in Budapest to top the overall times for the two days in Budapest, while in the afternoon Raoul Hyman was quickest of a studious session.
The second day of mid-season testing opened in slightly windy conditions as the cars fed onto the track for a frantic first half of the session. George Russell was quick to take control of the timesheets, but Giuliano Alesi improved on the Briton’s time by 9 hundredths to move up to P1.
On the one hour mark Russell reclaimed the top spot, leaving Leonardo Pulcini, Jack Aitken and Fukuzumi to battle for P2: eventually the Japanese ace found some extra pace to break the 1m32s barrier and move up to P1, while Aitken also improved to take P2 ahead of Russell, making it an all ART top 3.
The remainder of the session was trouble free as teams and drivers completed their testing programmes. At the chequered flag, Raoul Hyman, Pulcini, Niko Kari, Alesi, Dorian Boccolacci, Santino Ferrucci and Alessio Lorandi completed the top 10.
After a short break, Boccolacci took control of the timesheets and remained top for most of the first hour of the second session until Kari improved on the Frenchman’s time. Lorandi also found some extra pace to move up to P2 just before a brief red flag period courtesy of Alesi, who stopped at the entrance of the pitlane.
At the restart, Hyman clocked in a laptime of 1:32.191, three tenths faster than Kari’s best. The Campos racer remained at the top of the standings until the flag dropped, while Lorandi finished P3 ahead of Arjun Maini, Pulcini, Boccolacci, Marcos Siebert, Steijn Schothorst, Alesi and Tatiana Calderon.
The GP3 Series paddock will return to action for the second round of the 2017 season on July 7-9 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.