Anthoine begins the wintry trials with the best time in Castellet


© Dutch Photo Agency

Three months after his last race in Abu Dhabi, Anthoine Hubert regained his GP3 single-seater wheel for the ART Grand Prix team, the 21 and 22 February on the Paul Ricard track, in France. He concluded the first session of wintry trials in a convincing way, dominating the best time under all weather conditions, from an amazing snowy episode in the garrigue to the famous southern sun and a wet track.

Anthoine, first mid season trials, P1 since the first lap and P1 to conclude those two days. It couldn’t be better !

Indeed, and it validates my clear goal to fight for the title. After a first encouraging year, I wanted to make a good start for the first session. I realised the best time for the two days and I was proud to remain concentrated while the weather conditions were very changing.

Indeed, the weather was capricious…

We had a range of every possible weather, as some snowflakes and rain in the first morning, then a dry track, and finally a wet one at the end of the second day. Thus, we drove with rain tyres and slicks, on a wet but drying track. It’s reassuring to succeed a good performance despite the changes of parameters.

How did you prepare this second season of GP3 ?

In December and January, I was occupied by the renewal of my partnership with ART Grand Prix. It’s also a relaxing period, with festivities. Then, I thoroughly get back to the sport. I also work in a car dealership with my partner, the Lamirault group, and it’s very interesting to discover this professional environment. Finally, the winter was shorter than the last year because we get behind the wheel a month earlier and it’s a very good thing. Winter was so short !

You discovered the Castellet driving a GP3. What did you think about it?

The track was re-surfaced, three turns are different, they are more open to receive the F1. The track is fast and enjoyable. It was cold and we won’t have the same conditions in June for the races, so we shouldn’t think any further ahead. The tyres probably won’t be the same : we drove with the medium ones this week, and I think we’ll use the tender ones in June.

Do you feel a special pressure being the leader in ART Grand Prix?

I don’t really feel this way… no more than when I did my first steps in competition. I’ve always lived with the pressure to do my best. So, if the team wishes I’m the leader, it won’t be a problem, I like to be in this position. It’s a good way to be in the heart of the team and to intervene more easily on every little detail.

The title being your goal, in which domain do you plan to progress to make a real difference from last year?

The qualifying sessions. In other words, the use of tyres on a lap. Because they have to be warmed… but no too much so they can be perfect at the good moment. I also have to survey their degradation. The more you leave high on the starting grid, the more you have chances to get a good result and to avoid the scramble or the obstruction by slower competitors.

Results of the Paul Ricard track trials – 21 and 22 February 2018

Day 1 - Morning

  1. Anthoine Hubert 1:59.549
  2. Alessio Lorandi 1:59.799
  3. Giuliano Alesi 1:59.996
  4. Pedro Piquet 2:00.391
  5. Nikita Mazepin 2:00.539 (...)

Day 1 - Afternoon

  1. Jake Hughes 1:49.456
  2. Nikita Mazepin 1:49.563
  3. Niko Kari 1:49.575
  4. Leonardo Pulcini 1:49.599
  5. Anthoine Hubert 1:49.786 (...)

Day 2 - Morning

  1. Anthoine Hubert 1:48.674
  2. Callum Ilott 1:48.761
  3. Leonardo Pulcini 1:49.051
  4. Nikita Mazepin 1:49.180
  5. Tatiana Calderon 1:49.209(...)

Day 2 - Afternoon

  1. Callum Ilott 1:49.144
  2. Anthoine Hubert 1:49.193 (...)
  3. Tatiana Calderon 1:49.684
  4. Pedro Piquet 1:49.687
  5. Jake Hughes 1:49.750