GP3 Hockenheim: Ferrari junior Fuoco pounces to win opening race

Ferrari Formula 1 protege Antonio Fuoco claimed his second GP3 victory and first in a non-reverse-grid race thanks to a sharp virtual safety car restart at Hockenheim

GP3 Hockenheim: Ferrari junior Fuoco pounces to win opening race

Trident driver Fuoco was running third behind ART team-mates Alexander Albon and Nyck de Vries as an early VSC period ended.

He pounced as soon as the race went green and able to accelerate past both before the first corner.

Poleman and championship leader Albon tried to hang on to second ahead of de Vries but ended up launching himself over the Turn 1 kerb and falling to fifth.

Haas F1 test driver Charles Leclerc had been put back from second to fifth on the grid for impeding fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Giuliano Alesi in qualifying, but benefited from his team-mates' tussle to surge up to second with a move on de Vries on the back straight.

Leclerc then spent several laps attacking Fuoco for the lead before his pace dropped off dramatically.

He had to defend hard against a resurgent de Vries and slewed wide at Turn 1 as they began the last lap.

McLaren junior de Vries easily grabbed second, while Leclerc was attacked by both Albon and Matt Parry on the back straight.

Parry had previously lost ground banging wheels with de Vries at the hairpin on the fraught restart lap, but this time he managed to get around both Albon and Leclerc in a sublime move to claim the final podium spot.

Leclerc fell to fifth behind title rival Albon, with Jack Aitken chasing them home.

Jake Dennis had moved up to second on the grid after Leclerc's penalty, only for his Arden car to get stuck in neutral at the end of the formation lap and force an aborted start. He started from the pitlane and made it up to 12th.

Santino Ferrucci and Artur Janosz stormed from 17th and 18th on the grid to seventh and eighth early on, then came under attack in the closing laps.

Arjun Maini made it through to seventh as DAMS team-mates Ferrucci and Jake Hughes had a close call, with Hughes coming out on top to take eighth and Sunday pole.

Tatiana Calderon moved up from last on the grid to take her first GP3 point in 10th ahead of Janosz.

The early VSC was prompted by an array of midfield incidents.

The pack was bunching up as initial top-six runner Alex Palou struggled with a front wing broken in a brush with Parry, then Ralph Boschung and Steijn Schothorst came together and collected Nirei Fukuzumi in the process.

As Boschung limped to the pits, there was further contact with his Koiranen team-mate Matevos Isaakyan, while Konstantin Tereshchenko went off in a separate crash.

RESULTS - 23 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Antonio Fuoco Trident 38m25.683s
2 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 5.988s
3 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 6.836s
4 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 7.973s
5 Charles Leclerc ART Grand Prix 10.519s
6 Jack Aitken Arden International 12.291s
7 Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 14.828s
8 Jake Hughes DAMS 18.246s
9 Santino Ferrucci DAMS 20.065s
10 Tatiana Calderon Arden International 20.206s
11 Artur Janosz Trident 23.964s
12 Jake Dennis Arden International 25.332s
13 Akash Nandy Jenzer Motorsport 25.467s
14 Kevin Jorg DAMS 37.076s
15 Ralph Boschung Koiranen GP 1m01.860s
16 Alex Palou Campos Racing 1m13.841s
- Sandy Stuvik Trident Retirement
- Steijn Schothorst Campos Racing Retirement
- Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP Retirement
- Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix Retirement
- Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing Retirement
- Giuliano Alesi Trident Retirement

RACE TWO STARTING GRID

Pos Driver Team
1 Jake Hughes DAMS
2 Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport
3 Jack Aitken Arden International
4 Charles Leclerc ART Grand Prix
5 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix
6 Matt Parry Koiranen GP
7 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix
8 Antonio Fuoco Trident
9 Santino Ferrucci DAMS
10 Tatiana Calderon Arden International
11 Artur Janosz Trident
12 Jake Dennis Arden International
13 Akash Nandy Jenzer Motorsport
14 Kevin Jorg DAMS
15 Ralph Boschung Koiranen GP
16 Alex Palou Campos Racing
17 Sandy Stuvik Trident
18 Steijn Schothorst Campos Racing
19 Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix
20 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP
21 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing
22 Giuliano Alesi Trident

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