CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA-CATALUNYA
A rainy cold Sunday welcomed the GP3 cars for the sprint race in Barcelona. The environment indicated that it would be a difficult day where only the brave and the ones who know who to manage the race would do a good result. Moreover, the inverted starting grid for the 8th first qualified would make the race interesting.
Juan Manuel Correa started from pole, and alongside him was the dominating driver of the sprint races of 2017 Giuliano Alesi. However, despite the attempts of Beckmann to get a better position, the Hispanic driver was able to maintain the lead. After a first lap free of incidents, the ARTs, especially Hubert and Hughes, started to gain positions. The French driver was P2 after turn 1, behind Alesi, because Correa had been overtaken by both of them at the end of the lap.
The first race incidents would arrive soon. Leonardo Pulcini made contact with another driver and had to pit for a new front wing. A lap later, Pedro Piquet lost control of his Trident when he was entering the back straight of the circuit, crashing against the wall, destroying his car and making the safety car appear on track.
Diego Menchaca also had to pit, due to another contact, a manoeuvre that cost him a 5 seconds penalty for exceeding the speed on the pit lane. When the race was restarted, the tire management problems were obvious for some drivers such as Calum Illot. The ART GP driver lost pace and he had to fight against Lorandi, being overtaken by him. Also, Jake Hughes overtook Correa.
Behind, the fights were very tight. Tveter was improving his pace and soon caught Illot. The Arden also fought until Aubry and Mawson crashed at 5 turn of the circuit, leaving the Frenchman with a puncture and problems with the wing for the Aussie.The safety car had to go on track because Aubry’s car was on the gravel.
The drivers from the back, such as Palmer, Tatiana Calderón or Beckmann entered on boxes to switch to dry tires, because the track was getting drier. Lorandi had a puncture and at the restart, the two Jenzer went out of the track, and the Colombian driver got stuck on the gravel, bringing the safety car out for third time. The race ended there for the Colombian driver.
Alesi was the winner ahead of Hubert and Hughes, who regained some positions at the very beginning of the race. They were second and third, respectively.