Abu Dhabi GP3: Ocon crowned champion as Palou takes maiden win

Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon held on to become the 2015 GP3 champion, denying rival Luca Ghiotto in a final showdown that saw Alex Palou take his first series victory.

Abu Dhabi GP3: Ocon crowned champion as Palou takes maiden win
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Polesitter Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Alex Palou, Campos Racing
Alex Palou, Campos Racing
Antonio Fuoco, Carlin
Antonio Fuoco, Carlin

Ocon, frustrated at a penalty that had stopped him from securing the crown yesterday, passed Ghiotto at the start - the duo making contact in the process - and went on to confirm his title.

Having lined up in fifth, Ocon got a good launch and tried to thread the needle between Ghiotto and Matt Parry ahead of him.

The former tried to shut the door and Ocon, in a move to avoid crashing into Parry, moved over on Ghiotto, the two cars colliding and shedding debris, but escaping largely intact, with Ghiotto also slipping behind Emil Bernstorff.

Ocon then stuck to the inside of Parry into Turn 1, clashing with the Briton, who would end up having to pit with damage on Lap 2.

However, Ghiotto kept himself in the title hunt, re-passing Bernstorff and then working his way around the ailing car of Parry to put himself right behind Ocon.

Up ahead of them, meanwhile, poleman Palou had nailed the start and began pulling away from second-placed Antonio Fuoco at a rapid rate.

With the hectic opening lap out of the way, the race settled into a rhythm, with no further changes in the points-scoring top eight for the rest of the race.

Ghiotto, sticking with Ocon in the early laps, eventually dropped off and came under pressure from Jimmy Eriksson.

And with Palou winning by 4.4s over Fuoco, a third-place finish proved more than sufficient to see Ocon crowned champion.

Ghiotto took the flag in fourth, ahead of Eriksson, Bernstorff, Marvin Kirchhofer and Pal Varhaug.

Pos. Driver Team Time/Delay
1 Alex Palou Campos Racing 27'46.982
2 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 4.429
3 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 5.372
4 Luca Ghiotto Trident 6.462
5 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 7.694
6 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 8.245
7 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 9.526
8 Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 10.058
9 Artur Janosz Trident 13.187
10 Kevin Ceccon Arden International 15.434
11 Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 16.083
12 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 16.814
13 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 18.190
14  Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 19.912
15 Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 22.839
16 Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 26.239
17 Mitch Gilbert Carlin 30.035
18 Michele Beretta Trident 30.434
19 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 30.825
20 Konstantin Tereshchenko Campos Racing 31.472
21 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 32.028
22 Adderly Fong Carlin 45.495
23 Alex Bosak Arden International 46.431
24 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 1'21.154

 

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