GP3 Round 2 Preview: Spielberg

Written by: Fanni Váradi | Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media

After a long break, GP3 is finally back this weekend. The first round in Barcelona had some excitements. Now teams are heading to the home of Red Bull to race in Spielberg this weekend following a successful 2 days long test at the Hungaroring in Budapest.

As the previous race was quite a long time ago, let’s look back to what happened in Spain.

Jack Aitken was very quick in Valencia and set the pace in qualifying. This was the Birton’s first GP3 pole during his career. Aitken is motivated to score good result in Austria, where he took his first GP3 points last year when finished P9. He was unlucky in Spain as his car ground to a halt midway through the first race with giving the leadership to his teammate Nirei Fukuzumi who had started from front row for the first time and scored his first GP3 win ahead of Leonardo Pulcini (Arden Motorsport) and Alessio Lorandi (Jenzer Motorsport). The swiss team had a very successful weekend. There was more to come, when Arjun Maini left his rivals behind at the start and won the race followed by Dorian Boccolacci (Trident) and his teammate Alessio Lorandi. It was a strong weekend for Jenzer Motorsport, and great achievement for their Italian driver who started the season with a double podium. There were 78 GP3 races since the last Jenzer win on Race 1 in Hockenheim 2012.

All the GP3 teams scored points in the inaugural round in Barcelona.

After One round Fukuzumi leads the drivers championship by 4 points over Alessio Lorandi, and Arjun Maini another 4 points further.

ART is currently the first team with 73 points ahead of Jenzer Motorsport and Trident.

Pirelli has selected the softest compounds in the ranges for Austria: soft and supersoft just like in Formula 1. “This is the natural choice for a circuit where the demands on the tyres are relatively low, and for GP3 it represents a rather different challenge to Barcelona, with a tyre that is two steps softer than what they used in Spain.” said Mario Isola, Head of Car Racing Pirelli.

“The track itself doesn’t have a lot of turns and it’s really smooth: you get to run a lot of laps and the tyres don’t degrade much, everyone is really close, and to extract that last hundredth of a second could be two places, so you have to be perfect and hit every mark. I remember last year that passing was quite possible, and we had a lot of fights: to bring DRS to a track where you can already overtake should create some incredible racing.” said Santino Ferrucci who drives for DAMS this year.

The schedule for this round (GMT+1):

Qualifying session: 09:25 – 09:55
Feature race: 17:10 (24 laps)

Sprint race: 09:10 (18 laps)
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