Abu Dhabi GP3: Esteban Ocon beats Luca Ghiotto to title, Palou wins

Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon secured back-to-back single-seater titles by beating Luca Ghiotto to the GP3 championship with his 14th podium of 2015 in Abu Dhabi, as Alex Palou dominated

Abu Dhabi GP3: Esteban Ocon beats Luca Ghiotto to title, Palou wins

ART Grand Prix driver Ocon, whose only victory of the season came in the opening race of the year at Barcelona, had a six-point lead over rival Ghiotto coming into the decider.

The pair lined up alongside each other in fourth and fifth on the grid, after Ocon had his race one win taken away because of a five-second penalty for gaining an off-track advantage.

At the start Koiranen GP's Matt Parry appeared to go across Ocon, which forced the Frenchman to veer left where he made contact with rival Ghiotto.

They both escaped from the incident relatively unscathed, though, Ghiotto lost a piece of his front wing endplate and fell down to sixth.

Palou got away well from pole position, as did Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco from second.

This was bad news for Ghiotto, who needed to outscore Ocon by six points to win the title.

It wasn't to be, despite the Italian making up his two lost places during a frenetic opening lap.

The Trident driver pushed Emil Bernstorff wide at the chicane before the long straight to take fifth, before demoting Parry, who was forced to pit with damage, under braking for Turn 11.

This put Ghiotto directly behind Ocon and it looked as though the Italian was going to mount an attack.

He stayed within a second of the ART driver but he was never really able to attempt an overtake and instead fell back into the clutches of Jimmy Eriksson.

Koiranen GP driver Eriksson hassled Ghiotto for several laps but he couldn't find an opening, as Ghiotto's Dallara simply rocketed away from the slower corners.

Out front Palou crossed the line to take his, and Campos Racing's, first win and podium of the year.

The Spaniard was never under any pressure from Fuoco, who claimed his second podium finish of the season in second in Carlin's final GP3 outing.

Ocon crossed the line in third to take his second consecutive single-seater title, after clinching the European Formula 3 championship in 2014.

A disheartened Ghiotto came home fourth, ahead of Eriksson and Bernstorff who fought hard over fifth in the closing stages.

Marvin Kirchhofer secured third in the championship with seventh, while Jenzer Motorsport's Pal Varhaug took the final point in eighth.

Status Grand Prix bowed out of GP3 with another point-less finish. The team ended the season last in the teams' championship, with Alex Fontana their highest points finisher overall with 16 points.

RESULTS - 14 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Alex Palou Campos Racing 27m46.982s
2 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 4.429s
3 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 5.372s
4 Luca Ghiotto Trident 6.462s
5 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 7.694s
6 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 8.245s
7 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 9.526s
8 Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 10.058s
9 Artur Janosz Trident 13.187s
10 Kevin Ceccon Arden International 15.434s
11 Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 16.083s
12 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 16.814s
13 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 18.190s
14 Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 19.912s
15 Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 22.839s
16 Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 26.239s
17 Mitch Gilbert Carlin 30.035s
18 Michele Beretta Trident 30.434s
19 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 30.825s
20 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 31.472s
21 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 32.028s
22 Adderly Fong Carlin 45.495s
23 Alex Bosak Arden International 46.431s
24 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 1m21.154s

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Esteban Ocon 253
2 Luca Ghiotto 245
3 Marvin Kirchhofer 200
4 Emil Bernstorff 194
5 Jimmy Eriksson 118
6 Antonio Fuoco 88
7 Kevin Ceccon 77
8 Matt Parry 67
9 Jann Mardenborough 58
10 Alex Palou 51
11 Ralph Boschung 28
12 Alfonso Celis 24
13 Matheo Tuscher 22
14 Artur Janosz 20
15 Oscar Tunjo 17
16 Alex Fontana 16
17 Sandy Stuvik 7
18 Seb Morris 6
19 Pal Varhaug 5
20 Alex Bosak 4
21 Matevos Isaakyan 2
22 Mitch Gilbert 1
23 Adderly Fong 0
24 Zaid Ashkanani 0
25 Brandon Maisano 0
26 Amaury Bonduel 0
27 Michele Beretta 0
28 Beitske Visser 0
29 Konstantin Tereschenko 0
30 Samin Gomez 0
31 Christopher Hoher 0

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