Anthoine started the penultimate appointment of the GP3 season, offering himself caviar in Russia with the best time of the free trials and a good advance on his opponents. During the qualifications, he was the first to succeed to down below 1:53 on the track of Sochi and he kept the pole position before he conceded in the last times of the session.
« I had the good rhythm, as I proved during the free trials. I was fast… except for one lap, the most important one, in the last phase of qualifications », Anthoine confessed. « That’s the race, it happens, it’s important to learn from mistakes and to be immediately ready to continue. The 4th place at the start was not a catastrophe and I knew that opportunities to make my way up the scores would be possible if a made a good start, especially with the long straight line leading to the second turn. Thus, I was disappointed with my performance, but not worried ».
|1.||Anthoine Hubert (ART Grand Prix) 1:53.146|
|2.||Jake Hughes (ART Grand Prix) 1:53.427|
|3.||Nikita Mazepin (ART Grand Prix) 1:53.466|
|1.||Leonardo Pulcini (Campos Racing) 1:52.586|
|2.||Callum Ilott (ART Grand Prix) 1:52.655|
|3.||Giuliano Alesi (Trident) 1:52.664|
|4.||Anthoine Hubert (ART Grand Prix) 1:52.798|
Since the exterior of the 2nd line of the grid, Anthoine made a good start and finished the first lap at the 3rd place. During the 5th lap, he overcrossed one of his two opponents in the race for the title, Callum Ilott, and he reached the 2nd place and kept it until he saw the arrival. Hectic on his lands, his teammate Nikita Mazepin came back in the French man wheels taking the opportunity of a little mistake of Anthoine and he overcrossed him in the last lap thanks to the DRS.
« The first race was very interesting, with a lot of attacks and a great rhythm. Once in second position, I tried to come back on Pulcini who escaped a little. Unfortunately, I paid the price for my attack at the start of the race : my tyres were too much damaged and Nikita overcrossed me in the end. I could have ensured the 2nd place in the perspective of the championship, but I don’t regret anything because my goal is to win when it’s possible ! It was the opposite of some races in which I took care of my tyres at the expense of the race rhythm. It is worth the money ».
Race 1 :
|1.||Leonardo Pulcini (Campos Racing)|
|2.||Nikita Mazepin (ART Grand Prix) +3.9|
|3.||Anthoine Hubert (ART Grand Prix) +7.0|
17 points goal
Sixth at the start of the last Russian race, Anthoine spent the most part of the race fighting against Nikita Mazepin. The two men made a crossover at the 4th place. Not far from the checkered flag, Anthoine used a DRS to come back to the Russian man and he arrassed him until the man cracked under pressure and hit a rail. With this 4th final place, Anthoine carried his advanced to 32 points over Mazepin whereas Ilott can’t no longer be entitled.
Anthoine won 10 podiums during the season before the finale in Abu Dhabi, which will take place on the track of Yas Marina from November 23 to 25. A record for the last three seasons of GP3. With 32 points of advance over Nikita Mazepin, he will have to score 17 points to win the coveted crown regardless of the Russia man results.
« Nikita overcrossed me in a moment I could not defend myself, thanks to the DRS, and I am very happy to make him crack under the pressure at the end of the race to take back the 4th place and to win big points. Globally, it was a good weekend with the balance plan since I left with 3 other points of advance over Nikita and Callum can’t no longer run for the title ».
Race 2 :
|1.||David Beckmann (Trident)|
|2.||Joey Mawson (Arden International) +0.6|
|3.||Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) +1.0|
|4.||Anthoine Hubert (ART Grand Prix) +4.5|
|1.||Anthoine Hubert 199|
|2.||Nikita Mazepin 167|
|3.||Callum Ilott 147|