Barcelona GP3: Ocon dominates season opener
Reigning FIA European Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon scored a dominant victory on his GP3 Series debut at Barcelona.
The Frenchman grabbed the lead away from the startline, as poleman Luca Ghiotto made a tardy getaway but just held off Emil Bernstorff into Turn 1.
ART's Ocon led lap one by 1.4s from Ghiotto, Bernstorff, Alfonso Celis Jr, Matheo Tuscher and Marvin Kirchhofer. Ocon scampered away up front, leading by over 3s by lap five.
Behind the procession up front, Jimmy Eriksson passed Pal Varhaug for seventh, and Alex Palou (who made a poor start from fourth) demoted Varhaug a further spot on the following lap.
Ocon had a 4.7s lead eradicated by the safety car, which was required when Seb Morris and Ralph Boschung collided at Turn 10.
Ocon managed the restart to perfection, and won by 3.3s from the closely-matched Ghiotto and Bernstorff.
The big mover of the race was Jann Mardenborough, who stormed up from his lowly 15th starting spot to grab fifth – passing Tuscher and Kirchhofer in successive corners with two laps remaining.
Mardenborough then cruised past Celis for fourth, as he tumbled down the order as he struggled for grip in the closing stages. Kirchhofer finished fifth, ahead of Eriksson.
|1||Esteban Ocon||ART Grand Prix||39m27.125|
|3||Emil Bernstorff||Arden International||3.509|
|5||Marvin Kirchhofer||ART Grand Prix||18.771|
|6||Jimmy Eriksson||Koiranen GP||22.621|
|7||Kevin Ceccon||Arden International||23.386|
|9||Alex Fontana||Status Grand Prix||25.532|
|10||Sandy Stuvik||Status Grand Prix||26.967|
|11||Alfonso Celis||ART Grand Prix||30.304|
|12||Zaid Ashkanani||Campos Racing||30.383|
|13||Alex Palou||Campos Racing||30.529|
|14||Matt Parry||Koiranen GP||30.680|
|15||Matheo Tuscher||Jenzer Motorsport||32.026|
|18||Alex Bosak||Arden International||35.274|
|19||Adderly Fong||Koiranen GP||35.972|
|20||Samin Gomez||Campos Racing||46.219|
|21||Pal Varhaug||Jenzer Motorsport||51.827|
|22||Mitchell Gilbert||Carlin||1 lap|
|R||Ralph Boschung||Jenzer Motorsport||–|
|R||Seb Morris||Status Grand Prix||–|
Ghiotto grabs pole for GP3 season opener
Barcelona GP3: Kirchhofer romps to Race 2 win