Luca Ghiotto won the third round of the GP3 Series at Red Bull Ring on Saturday, but another Italian – Antonio Fuoco – was the star of the race with a charging drive from eighth to second.
From pole position, Ghiotto – his third series pole in four attempts – lost his advantage to Ocon away from the startline, the two almost colliding as Ghiotto swerved across the track in a vain attempt to stay ahead.
There was a safety car immediately, as two stallers – Alex Palou from third and 10th-placed qualifier Mitch Gilbert – caused chaos. Kevin Ceccon ploughed into the back of Gilbert, and his wrecked car collected tailender Samin Gomez.
Ocon appeared to have nailed the restart, but then overshot Turn 1, forcing him to defend into Turn 2. Ghiotto got alongside into Turn 3, where Ocon locked-up massively.
They entered Turn 1 side by side on the following lap, with Ghiotto grabbing the lead before Turn 2.
Ghiotto left Ocon for dead, who now had his ART teammate Marvin Kirchhofer on his tail. Emil Bernstorff ran fourth ahead of Sandy Stuvik and Matt Parry.
Ghiotto pulled away up front, as Ocon held a steady second. Parry tumbled backwards to ninth, but the driver moving forwards was Ferrari protege Fuoco.
From eighth on the grid, Fuoco – who will test a Ferrari F1 car later this week here – passed Stuvik for fifth on lap 15 and then drove around the outside of Bernstorff at Turn 2 a lap later.
Kirchhofer gifted Fuoco third place by running wide at the penultimate corner, and he completed his charge with a decisive move on championship leader Ocon to grab second.
Bernstorff passed Kirchhofer for fourth but couldn't find a way past Bernstorff, while Jann Mardenborough also charged towards the front, passing Stuvik for sixth and then Kirchhofer for fifth.
But nobody could hold a candle to Ghiotto, who won by a massive 11.9s.
|3||Esteban Ocon||ART Grand Prix||12.641|
|4||Emil Bernstorff||Arden International||13.437|
|6||Marvin Kirchhofer||ART Grand Prix||19.709|
|7||Sandy Stuvik||Status Grand Prix||28.749|
|8||Ralph Boschung||Jenzer Motorsport||29.462|
|10||Alex Fontana||Status Grand Prix||34.521|
|11||Pal Varhaug||Jenzer Motorsport||36.069|
|12||Matheo Tuscher||Jenzer Motorsport||39.669|
|13||Matt Parry||Koiranen GP||40.589|
|14||Alex Palou||Campos Racing||42.534|
|15||Alfonso Celis||ART Grand Prix||42.934|
|16||Alex Bosak||Arden International||43.331|
|17||Adderly Fong||Koiranen GP||43.848|
|18||Zaid Ashkanani||Campos Racing||44.126|
|19||Seb Morris||Status Grand Prix||48.713|
|20||Jimmy Eriksson||Koiranen GP||1 lap|
|21||Artur Janosz||Trident||2 laps|
|Ret||Samin Gomez||Campos Racing|
|Ret||Kevin Ceccon||Arden International|