Russell takes 4th victory as ART win GP3 Teams Championship
George Russell took his 4th win of the 2017 GP3 Series at Monza, edging out teammates Jack Aitken and Anthoine Hubert in a terrific three way fight for the victory. ART provisionally claimed the Teams Championship in the process, capping off a dominant season for the team.
The only GP3 race of the Monza weekend took place on Sunday Morning, after the original time slot for the race was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions which affected the Formula One Qualifying on Saturday.
Nirei Fukuzumi was to start from pole position, however a technical problem meant he was unable to take the start - promoting Russell to the pole position.
Russell made a good start, leading the pack in the run down to the first corner ahead of Aitken and Hubert, as the ART trio immediatley pulled away from the chaos that ensued behind them. An accident at the Roggia Chicane took two drivers out of the race and caused substantial barrier damage - resulting in a nine lap stint behind the Safety Car.
Russell maintained the lead at the restart, before Hubert managed to use DRS into turn one to get him in the Britons slipstream - making an overtake into the chicane. The Mercedes-AMG F1 Junior Driver however hit back just two laps later, blasting past his teammate and rival to reclaim the lead of the race.
A Virtual Safety Car Period commenced shortly after due to debris on track from an accident further down the pack, bunching up the leading trio in the process. The track went green again as the leader exited the Parabolica, leading to a spectacular three way duel down the main straight - with Aitken taking the lead into turn one just ahead of Russell.
Russell however was not to be denied. After sticking to the gearbox of the Renault F1 Junior ahead, Russell passed Aitken after drafting alongside him through Curva Grande, making the move stick on the exit of the Roggia Chicane to take the lead.
Russell held onto the lead, moving just clear of the DRS threat from his rivals behind - before the race was finished under the safety car after an accident for Niko Kari at the first Lesmo Corner.
The race finished with Russell taking his 4th win of the season, leading another ART 1-2-3 from Aitken and Hubert locking out the podium places, provisionally taking the Teams Championship in the process for the third consecutive season.
George Russell " I’m extremely happy to get the win today, although I’m feeling very sorry for Nirei as it’s extremely unfortunate what happened to him. It’s a great result for the team, 1-2-3, and they’ve given us an amazing car all year. I’m really happy to get the win here, and to go to Jerez with a good gap in the championship to try to seal the deal there."
The result means that Russell has extended his championship lead over his main rival Aitken, with 162 points compared to 119.
GP3 returns to action on the 6-8 October at the Cicuito de Jerez, Spain. The season has four races remaining, with two races both at Jerez and Abu Dhabi to finish the 2017 Season.