Aitken powers to Budapest GP3 victory

Top-3 spray the champagne
Top-3 spray the champagne

Jack Aitken has taken his first win of the season and given his championship challenge a boost with a crushing display of speed and maturity this afternoon in the GP3 Series Race 1 at the Hungaroring, easily controlling his pace as well as his rivals for a relatively simple victory ahead of ART teammates Nirei Fukuzumi and Anthoine Hubert.

The win was set up before the start when Series leader and front row starter George Russell pulled off the circuit on the installation lap after suffering from mechanical gremlins, and when the lights went out Aitken easily led Fukuzumi across the track to cover Dorian Boccolacci before heading into turn 1: the Japanese driver was all over his rear wing but the Briton defended well until a safety car slowed them down, emerging to remove Arjun Maini and Tatiana Calderon’s cars after they stopped separately further back off the track.

Aitken easily controlled the restart which saw Hubert trying in vain to get a jump on Boccolacci, but at the end of the lap Steijn Schothorst also stopped on the circuit, prompting a brief VSC period to deal with the Dutchman’s car before going live again on the same lap: Fukuzumi had a better restart but Aitken had sufficient buffer to deny him his position, although behind them Alessio Lorandi was unable to keep Kevin Jorg behind him, losing P7 in the process before gaining it back next time around when the Swiss driver went too deep at turn 1.

Up at the front Aitken was in a race of his own, setting a string of fastest laps to build a substantial gap back to his teammate, who was soon joined by Hubert: the Frenchman was all over the back of Boccolacci on lap 9 into turn 1, ran side by side with him through turn 2 and claimed P3 at turn 3 before heading off after his teammates, with Niko Kari trying desperately to follow him but just touching wheels with Boccolacci before losing places at turn 1 next time round as he ran deep after trying to pass on the outside of the corner.

And at the flag it was Aitken who eased to victory by more than 4 seconds over Fukuzumi, with Hubert a similar gap behind in P3 but well ahead of Lorandi, who stole 4th from Boccolacci on the penultimate lap. Giuliano Alesi held off his Trident teammates Jorg and Ryan Tveter at the flag, and a disappointed Kari just held off a charging Bruno Baptista for P9.

Provisional Race 1 Classification

Pos

Driver

Team

1.

Jack Aitken

ART Grand Prix

2.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

3.

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

4.

Alessio Lorandi

Jenzer Motorsport

5.

Dorian Boccolacci

Trident

6.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

7.

Kevin Jorg

Trident

8.

Ryan Tveter

Trident

9.

Niko Kari

Arden International

10.

Bruno Baptista

DAMS

11.

Marcos Siebert

Campos Racing

12.

Matthieu Vaxivière

DAMS

13.

Julien Falchero

Campos Racing

14.

Raoul Hyman

Campos Racing

15.

Leonardo Pulcini

Arden International

Not Classified

Steijn Schothorst

Arden International

Tatiana Calderon

DAMS

Arjun Maini

Jenzer Motorsport

George Russell

ART Grand Prix

Fastest Lap

Steijn Schothorst

Leave a Reply