Abu Dhabi GP3: Mazepin cuts points deficit with pole
Racing Point Force India Formula 1 junior Nikita Mazepin cut his GP3 Series points deficit to Anthoine Hubert by taking pole position in Abu Dhabi.
Mazepin had been largely anonymous for the majority of the session, but crossed the line ahead of ART Grand Prix teammate Hubert to put the pressure on with a 1m54.885s.
It was Mazepin's first pole of the season, as he was disqualified from pole last time out in Russia due to a breach of track limits, and the Russian also becomes the final polesitter of the GP3 era before the series becomes FIA F3 next year.
Hubert was a tenth of a second slower, meaning he’ll start Saturday’s feature race in third behind poleman Mazepin and Campos Racing’s Leonardo Pulcini.
Pulcini had topped a large part of qualifying, leading before the final runs, and only Mazepin could improve to beat the Italian driver.
Hubert, who holds a 28-point advantage after qualifying, can still seal the title in the first race on Saturday by finishing second, even if Mazepin wins and takes two points for fastest lap.
British pair Jake Hughes and Callum Ilott made sure all four ART cars were in the top five, ahead of leading Trident driver David Beckmann in sixth.
Giuliano Alesi topped practice earlier in the day, but couldn’t replicate that dominance in qualifying and ended up seventh, followed by teammate Ryan Tveter, Simo Laaksonen (Campos) and Juan Manuel Correa (Jenzer).
Despite setting the fourth fastest time in practice, Jehan Daruvala could only manage 15th in qualifying on his GP3 Series race-weekend debut with MP Motorsport.
|1||3||Nikita Mazepin||ART Grand Prix||1'54.885|
|2||18||Leonardo Pulcini||Campos Racing||1'54.952||0.067|
|3||2||Anthoine Hubert||ART Grand Prix||1'55.041||0.156|
|4||4||Jake Hughes||ART Grand Prix||1'55.068||0.183|
|5||1||Callum Ilott||ART Grand Prix||1'55.098||0.213|
|9||19||Simo Laaksonen||Campos Racing||1'55.525||0.640|
|10||10||Juan Manuel Correa||Jenzer Motorsport||1'55.535||0.650|
|12||22||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||1'55.597||0.712|
|13||11||Jannes Fittje||Jenzer Motorsport||1'55.782||0.897|
|14||9||Tatiana Calderon||Jenzer Motorsport||1'55.789||0.904|
|15||24||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1'55.828||0.943|
|16||14||Gabriel Aubry||Arden International||1'55.836||0.951|
|17||20||Diego Menchaca||Campos Racing||1'55.914||1.029|
|18||15||Sacha Fenestraz||Arden International||1'55.985||1.100|
|19||23||Devlin DeFrancesco||MP Motorsport||1'56.142||1.257|
|20||16||Joey Mawson||Arden International||1'56.276||1.391|
Daruvala joins MP Motorsport for Abu Dhabi GP3 finale
Abu Dhabi GP3: Hubert crowned champion as Pulcini wins