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Valtteri Bottas wins first GP3 race at Hungaroring from Michael Christensen

Hungary GP3 podiumValtteri Bottas sustained race-long pressure from Michael Christensen to take a lights-to-flag victory in the first GP3 race of the weekend at the Hungaroring.

Pole-sitter Bottas had eased away in the early laps, but he appeared to have no response as Christensen hunted him down by a couple of tenths of a second per lap later on.

But as soon as the RSC Mucke driver got the gap down to less than 1s, Bottas responded by becoming the fastest man on track to keep his lead at a safe margin and take his second successive victory for the ART Grand Prix team.

Christensen had jumped from fifth to second with a very bold move around the outside of James Calado (ART) and Mitch Evans (MW Arden) at Turn 1 after he had beaten Aaro Vainio (Tech 1) away from the line.

Calado then went too deep into Turn 2 as he tried to fight back, and as he went to re-take the racing line he collided with Evans, who had tried to sneak through in the gap left by the Briton.

Their clash led to Evans retiring, while Calado dropped way out of contention. It handed third place to Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, and the Manor driver would hold on to it until the finish.

Championship leader Alexander Sims came home fourth, the Status driver having made his way through the messy first couple of corners from 11th on the grid to hold onto his position at the top of the standings.

He came under pressure from Nico Muller in the middle of the race, but there was nothing the Jenzer driver could do to force a way through.

Vainio followed that scrap home to take sixth, just ahead of Lewis Williamson (MW Arden), who made his way into the points from 15th on the grid with an excellent first lap of his own.

The final point went to Addax driver Tom Dillmann, who had to fight very hard in the closing laps to prevent Nigel Melker (RSC Mucke) grabbing the place and pole position for race two.

Results - 16 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team         Time/Gap
 1.  Valtteri Bottas         ART        26m32.020s
 2.  Michael Christensen     RSC Mucke    + 0.986s
 3.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs     Manor        + 9.203s
 4.  Alexander Sims          Status       + 9.889s
 5.  Nico Muller             Jenzer      + 10.218s
 6.  Aaro Vainio             Tech 1      + 11.243s
 7.  Lewis Williamson        MW Arden    + 11.522s
 8.  Tom Dillmann            Addax       + 15.454s
 9.  Nigel Melker            RSC Mucke   + 15.820s
10.  Rio Haryanto            Manor       + 16.404s
11.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Tech 1      + 26.154s
12.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Status      + 28.358s
13.  Marlon Stockinger       Atech CRS   + 31.399s
14.  Conor Daly              Carlin      + 34.130s
15.  Mattias Laine           Manor       + 37.376s
16.  Zoel Amberg             Atech CRS   + 40.368s
17.  Simon Trummer           MW Arden    + 40.629s
18.  Luciano Bacheta         RSC Mucke   + 41.510s
19.  Pedro Nunes             ART         + 42.932s
20.  Maxim Zimin             Jenzer      + 43.295s
21.  Leonardo Cordeiro       Carlin      + 43.596s
22.  Nick Yelloly            Atech CRS   + 44.355s
23.  Vittorio Ghirelli       Jenzer      + 44.443s
24.  Gabby Chaves            Addax       + 44.630s
25.  Dean Smith              Addax       + 45.325s
26.  James Calado            ART         + 45.831s
27.  Callum Macleod          Carlin      + 46.747s
28.  Thomas Hylkema          Tech 1      + 47.330s
29.  Ivan Lukashevich        Status        + 1 lap


     Mitch Evans             MW Arden        1 lap
Daytona Competition
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