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Antonio Felix da Costa wins dramatic GP3 season finale

Antonio Felix da Costa leads at MonzaAntonio Felix da Costa won a dramatic GP3 season finale at Monza on Sunday.

The Status Grand Prix driver was in the lead train of cars throughout the race, in what turned out to be another classic slipstreaming affair.

Da Costa made his decisive move for the lead on the penultimate lap, passing James Calado (ART) at the second chicane after the Briton had just come together with Mitch Evans (MW Arden) at the start of the lap.

Calado, who had led for five laps in the middle of the race despite the slipstream effect, handed Evans the lead when he locked up and slid wide at the first corner on lap 11.

The championship runner-up then launched an attack into the same corner three laps later, but Evans tried to sneak back ahead in the middle of the chicane as Calado went wide.

Calado then clipped the second kerb which pushed him wide enough to tag Evans, putting the Kiwi out on the spot.

Da Costa then took the lead at the following corner, while Calado was given a drive-through penalty towards the end of the penultimate lap.

He did not come in, and crossed the line in second place before being given a 20-second penalty which dropped him to 14th. That left Manor's Rio Haryanto and Jenzer's Nico Muller joining da Costa on the podium.

Calado could have tied 2011 champion Bottas on points if he had won the race and set fastest lap, as the Finn hit the back of Carlin's Conor Daly into Ascari on the opening lap and was given a drive-through penalty.

Bottas still proved a point at the end of the race, as he set the fastest lap while crossing the line to come home 17th for ART.

Results - 16 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team          Time/Gap
 1.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Status      28m28.320s
 2.  Rio Haryanto            Manor         + 0.720s
 3.  Nico Muller             Jenzer        + 1.208s
 4.  Simon Trummer           MW Arden      + 1.935s
 5.  Callum MacLeod          Carlin        + 2.308s
 6.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs     Manor         + 6.235s
 7.  Gabby Chaves            Addax         + 7.027s
 8.  Aaro Vainio             Tech 1        + 7.599s
 9.  Tom Dillmann            Addax         + 9.949s
10.  Lewis Williamson        MW Arden     + 10.128s
11.  Michael Christensen     RSC Mucke    + 10.699s
12.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Tech 1       + 11.320s
13.  Marlon Stockinger       Atech CRS    + 11.426s
14.  James Calado            ART          + 20.397s
15.  Daniel Mancinelli       RSC Mucke    + 23.506s
16.  Maxim Zimin             Jenzer       + 39.759s
17.  Valtteri Bottas         ART          + 42.707s
18.  Vittorio Ghirelli       Addax      + 1m04.588s
19.  Richie Stanaway         ART        + 1m05.428s
20.  Christophe Hurni        Jenzer     + 1m34.972s

Retirements:

     Mitch Evans             MW Arden       13 laps
     Nigel Melker            RSC Mucke       9 laps
     Nick Yelloly            Atech CRS       9 laps
     Leonardo Cordeiro       Carlin          6 laps
     Matias Laine            Manor           5 laps
     Zoel Amberg             Atech CRS       3 laps
     Ivan Lukashevich        Status          3 laps
     Alexander Sims          Status           1 lap
     Thomas Hylkema          Tech 1           1 lap
     Conor Daly              Carlin          0 laps

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