Antonio Felix da Costa wins dramatic GP3 season finale
|By Glenn Freeman||Sunday, September 11th 2011, 07:48 GMT|
Antonio 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