The Italian Grand Prix was the venue for the final round of the GP3 Series with New Zealander Mitch Evans claiming the GP3 title after a dramatic weekend in both championships.
For the fastest race of the year, the GP2 drivers had the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres at their disposal, whereas the GP3 drivers had the P Zero Silver hard tyres available to them. There is generally low tyre degradation at Monza, but certain places such as the famous Parabolica put plenty of energy through the front tyres in particular, and high temperatures throughout the weekend also placed additional stress on the P Zero rubber.
The GP3 title could have been won on Saturday, but in a dramatic twist of events polesitter Evans was forced to retire early in the race – and then championship challengers Antonio Felix da Costa and Aaro Vainio were also unable to capitalise on the opportunity. This left Evans – who retained the championship lead despite his retirement in the feature race – and Lotus driver Daniel Abt as the only contenders, separated by 14 points.
Abt started the GP3 sprint race on Sunday in eighth while Evans started last, but the German driver had to win in order to have any chance of taking the title. Incredibly, Abt was on course to do this, until he was passed by Manor driver Tio Ellinas.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “We enjoyed an action-packed weekend in Italy, but first of all I’d like to congratulate Mitch Evans and MW Arden on a well-deserved title win that was taken under almost unbelievable circumstances, ending what was probably the most spectacular and competitive season we have seen in our three years of supplying GP3. Next year there will be a new GP3 car and some new tyres for it, so this is a fantastic way to say goodbye to the current GP3 formula.”
Pirelli Press Release