Four rounds gone, four to go! GP3 Series is back and this time the venue is the mighty Hockenheimring. 2011 saw Nurburgring play host to GP3 but now Hockenheim returns to the calendar for the start of back to back races with Budapest – Round 6 in less than seven days time.
Round 4 took place in rainy Silverstone and what an eventful weekend it was! Antonio Felix Da Costa grabbed his first win of the year which was also Carlin’s maiden victory in the GP3 Series! Race 2 was one of the most dramatic and thrilling races we have had in the Series’ history with William Buller celebrating his debut win after starting from 25th and last on the grid to come through the pack! A race which was dominated by strategic calls with changeable weather conditions, favoured the brave and it was Buller who made his slicks work to claw his way through the field. It also marked a double win for Carlin on home ground in front of a packed house at Silverstone.
With half the season completed, Mitch Evans (MW Arden) controls the Drivers Standings with an 11 point advantage to Aaro Vainio (Lotus GP). There is a titanic tussle between the duo for the title but it will be a challenge this weekend for the Finn as he’s been handed a ten place grid penalty for Race 1 following an incident in Silverstone. The charge is also on from behind with Felix Da Costa collecting vital points in an attempt to stamp his claim on the Series to catch the two at the top.
A familiar face returns this weekend in Lewis Williamson who will be deputising for Kotaro Sakurai (sponsorship problems) at Status Grand Prix. The Scotsman finish eighth in the GP3 Standings in 2011 so will be looking to impress in Germany. Once again, the weather looks unpredictable for Round 5, so it promises to be another thrilling encounter!
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola said: “Hockenheim will be a new experience for us with GP2 and we need to keep an open mind as to what to expect, particularly in terms of weather conditions. The German circuit does not make any particular demands on the compound and structure in a specific area, but instead there are quite a wide range of different parameters that are tested. Traction is certainly a key issue, because of all the slow to medium speed corners, but the tyres also have to withstand sustained high speed on the long straights and heavy braking.”