The waiting is over! After seven rounds, the season draws to a close in the spectacular setting of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The Series makes its maiden voyage outside of Europe and if that wasn’t special enough, there are two championships to be decided with both the Drivers’ and Teams trophies up for grabs in a thrilling climax to the 2013 season. For the icing on the cake, Race 1 will be held under floodlights as GP3 will have its first “night” race.
Let’s recap Round 7, when the Series was last in action in Monza. Newly announced 2014 F1 driver for Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat, flew to pole position and took victory in Race 1, ahead of Carlin’s Nick Yelloly and Series leader Facu Regalia. Race 2 saw ART Grand Prix’s Jack Harvey pocket his second win of the year, ahead of MW Arden’s Kvyat and Bamboo Engineering’s Lewis Williamson.
The Monza result dramatically changed the Drivers’ Standings, with Regalia’s lead in the championship battle down to just 7 points over Kyvat, the duo on top with 138 and 131 points respectively. Kevin Korjus, Conor Daly, Jack Harvey and Tio Ellinas all have a mathematical chance of the GP3 crown with six drivers vying to follow in the footsteps of reigning champion, Mitch Evans.
ART Grand Prix hold a mammoth advantage in the Teams Championship, 98 points to be exact, and can clinch the teams’ title for the fourth consecutive year if they achieve six points this weekend. MW Arden and Koiranen GP hold second and third in the standings.
There are several driver changes to the driver entry list this weekend. Alice Powell returns to GP3 and will drive alongside Carmen Jorda for Bamboo Engineering, making it an all-female line-up. The Brit replaces Melville McKee, with Lewis Williamson not driving for the British squad for Round 8. Robert Cregan also makes his comeback, driving for Trident in place of David Fumanelli.
Dean Stoneman also makes his GP3 debut after recovering from cancer, replacing Aaro Vainio for Koiranen GP.
Pirelli have chosen the Medium compound for this event.
Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola commented: “Abu Dhabi is the final round of the year for our support series and where our new GP2 and GP3 champions will be decided. With only seven points separating championship contenders Fabio Leimer and Sam Bird in GP2, as well as Facu Regalia and Daniil Kyvat in GP3, there’s going to be pressure on the teams to ensure both races are error-free. The drivers will have to ensure they get everything just right: including tyre strategy, which will be of the utmost importance.
“As for GP3, it will be a straightforward race to the finish, with no questions of tactics to add an extra dimension. However, it’s a brand new circuit for GP3, which presents its own challenges. Yas Marina is the ideal circuit to conclude the GP2 and GP3 championships as it incorporates several of the best features of other tracks we have been to this year. The surface is fast and smooth while the track layout tests every aspect of a driver’s skill and a tyre’s capability, which is why Abu Dhabi is often used for testing. On behalf of Pirelli, I’d like to wish all our GP2 and GP3 drivers the best of luck on what will be the most important race weekend of the year.”
GP3 Press Release