After nearly five months and seven exciting rounds across Europe, the inaugural GP3 Series season is drawing to a close this weekend at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Built in Villa Reale Park, north of Monza, the Italian track is one of the most...
After nearly five months and seven exciting rounds across Europe, the inaugural GP3 Series season is drawing to a close this weekend at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
Built in Villa Reale Park, north of Monza, the Italian track is one of the most prestigious motor racing circuits in the world, and is an apt setting to witness the historical crowning of the first ever GP3 Series champion. By far the quickest track on the calendar, drivers will spend the majority of the race at full throttle so speed will be crucial if drivers want to challenge for the top spots.
The high-level of racing and strong competition faced by the thirty young charges in GP3 this year means the championship fight has gone down to the wire. After failing to score for the first time this season in Spa, ART Grand Prix's Esteban Gutierrez saw his lead in the Series cut to 18 points, yet the Mexican only needs to claim pole position this weekend to win the title over Status GP's Robert Wickens. With the teams' championship all sewn up last time out, it is now a fight for second. There are still five teams in with a chance of taking the honour - Status Grand Prix, Jenzer Motorsport, Manor Racing, Carlin and Tech 1 Racing are all mathematically in with a chance of clinching second spot.
With headquarters in Milan, Monza is a fitting venue for Pirelli to conclude its first GP3 season and mark its successful return to top level single-seater racing. The Italian tyre supplier will once again use its medium-compound 13-inch PZero tyre. Pirelli's Racing Manager Mario Isola commented: It's obviously a huge pleasure and privilege for us to be racing at home, particularly after such a successful debut season for the GP3 Series. The fact that the championship is still up for grabs on the final round just goes to show how competitive it has been. Our medium-compound PZero tyres have demonstrated their versatility in the past, and with Monza taking in quite a wide variety of parameters and possible weather conditions, we're confident that it is the best choice."
James Jakes makes a welcome return to racing this weekend after his accident at Hockenheimring in July. The Manor Racing driver has undergone rigorous physiotherapy for the past few weeks, and was given the all clear to race after some final medical checks.