Barcelona GP3: Ocon dominates season opener

Reigning FIA European Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon scored a dominant victory on his GP3 Series debut at Barcelona.

Barcelona GP3: Ocon dominates season opener
Esteban Ocon and Marvin Kirchhofer, ART Grand Prix
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix practices a pit stop
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix

The Frenchman grabbed the lead away from the startline, as poleman Luca Ghiotto made a tardy getaway but just held off Emil Bernstorff into Turn 1.

ART's Ocon led lap one by 1.4s from Ghiotto, Bernstorff, Alfonso Celis Jr, Matheo Tuscher and Marvin Kirchhofer. Ocon scampered away up front, leading by over 3s by lap five.

Behind the procession up front, Jimmy Eriksson passed Pal Varhaug for seventh, and Alex Palou (who made a poor start from fourth) demoted Varhaug a further spot on the following lap.

Ocon had a 4.7s lead eradicated by the safety car, which was required when Seb Morris and Ralph Boschung collided at Turn 10.

Ocon managed the restart to perfection, and won by 3.3s from the closely-matched Ghiotto and Bernstorff.

The big mover of the race was Jann Mardenborough, who stormed up from his lowly 15th starting spot to grab fifth – passing Tuscher and Kirchhofer in successive corners with two laps remaining.

Mardenborough then cruised past Celis for fourth, as he tumbled down the order as he struggled for grip in the closing stages. Kirchhofer finished fifth, ahead of Eriksson.

 PosDriverTeamTime/gap 
1 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 39m27.125
2 Luca Ghiotto Trident 3.368
3 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 3.509
4 Jann Mardenborough Carlin 14.456
5 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 18.771
6 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 22.621
7 Kevin Ceccon Arden International 23.386
8 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 23.919
9 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 25.532
10 Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 26.967
11 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 30.304
12 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 30.383
13 Alex Palou Campos Racing 30.529
14 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 30.680
15 Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 32.026
16 Artur Janosz Trident 32.555
17 Oscar Tunjo Trident 34.642
18 Alex Bosak Arden International 35.274
19 Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 35.972
20 Samin Gomez Campos Racing 46.219
21 Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 51.827
22 Mitchell Gilbert Carlin 1 lap
Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport
Seb Morris Status Grand Prix

 

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Ghiotto grabs pole for GP3 season opener
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