Sochi GP3: Eriksson takes first win, Ocon closes on points lead

Jimmy Eriksson took his first GP3 win of the season with a controlled lights to flag victory at Sochi, as Luca Ghiotto's championship lead was cut to just two points

Sochi GP3: Eriksson takes first win, Ocon closes on points lead

Eriksson, who agonisingly lost out on victory on the penultimate lap at Monza, made a great start from pole position

The same couldn't be said for his Koiranen GP team-mate and fellow front row starter Matt Parry as he dropped down the order and retired on the opening lap.

A fast-starting Antonio Fuoco hassled Eriksson for the lead into Turn 2, but the pair made contact.

Eriksson rejoined in the lead but Fuoco dropped behind Carlin team-mate Jann Mardenborough to third.

For the opening few laps Mardenborough pressured Eriksson but the Swede remained unfazed, increasing his lead throughout.

Crucially for the championship battle, Ghiotto was down in sixth after making slight contact with Emil Bernstorff on the opening lap, before running wide and falling to ninth and outside of the points.

His title rival Esteban Ocon however was up in fourth, and all over the back of Fuoco for third.

Ferrari junior Fuoco defended hard for several laps but he couldn't keep Ocon behind.

The Mercedes protege was squeezed up against the wall on the run down to Turn 2 by Fuoco, but he refused to back out of the move and edged past to take third.

Fuoco was equally aggressive with Bernstorff. The Italian was shown the black and white flag but that didn't stop him keeping Bernstorff at bay.

Bernstorff thought he had the move done on the outside of Turn 2 but he ended up running wide and lost a place to Trident's Artur Janosz.

At the front Eriksson was well clear but Mardenborough was falling back towards Ocon who was on a charge, setting consecutive fastest laps.

Within a few laps Ocon was glued to the back of Mardenborough before making yet another brave move stick, this time on the inside of Turn 16 to take second.

Eriksson crossed the line 2.7 seconds ahead of that battle, with Ocon securing his ninth consecutive second place finish.

Mardenborough took his first podium since the opening weekend at Barcelona.

Behind the leaders Janosz was able to keep Bernstorff and Marvin Kirchhofer at bay, while Ghiotto picked up a crucial point after passing Alex Palou on the final lap.

RESULTS - 15 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 28m34.265s
2 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 2.778s
3 Jann Mardenborough Carlin 4.936s
4 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 10.459s
5 Artur Janosz Trident 13.005s
6 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 15.035s
7 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 15.571s
8 Luca Ghiotto Trident 16.289s
9 Alex Palou Campos Racing 16.796s
10 Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 23.284s
11 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 27.132s
12 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 27.847s
13 Michele Beretta Trident 29.822s
14 Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 31.864s
15 Mitch Gilbert Carlin 33.454s
16 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 37.493s
17 Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 44.427s
18 Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 50.534s
19 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 1m02.503s
20 Alex Bosak Arden International 1m13.910s
- Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport Retirement
- Matt Parry Koiranen GP Retirement
- Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport Not started
- Kevin Ceccon Arden International Not started

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP:

Pos Driver Points
1 Luca Ghiotto 196
2 Esteban Ocon 194
3 Emil Bernstorff 146
4 Marvin Kirchhofer 144
5 Jimmy Eriksson 85
6 Kevin Ceccon 77
7 Antonio Fuoco 62
8 Jann Mardenborough 52
9 Matt Parry 49
10 Alex Palou 30
11 Ralph Boschung 27
12 Matheo Tuscher 22
13 Alfonso Celis 19
14 Oscar Tunjo 17
15 Alex Fontana 16
16 Artur Janosz 11
17 Sandy Stuvik 7
18 Seb Morris 6
19 Pal Varhaug 4
20 Alex Bosak 4
21 Mitch Gilbert 1
22 Adderly Fong 0
23 Zaid Ashkanani 0
24 Brandon Maisano 0
25 Amaury Bonduel 0
26 Michele Beretta 0
27 Beitske Visser 0
28 Konstantin Tereschenko 0
29 Samin Gomez 0
30 Christopher Hoher 0


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