GP3 Series Media

Finnish ace takes victory at Autodromo Nazionale Monza to seal 2011 GP3 Series™ crown

Valtteri Bottas took his fourth victory of the season in a thrilling Race 1 in Monza today to secure the 2011 GP3 Series™ crown after a head to head battle with his Lotus ART teammate and championship rival James Calado. Bottas kept his cool and put his head down to take the win despite immense pressure from the Brit who finished second to secure his runner-up spot in the drivers’ standings. 

Poleman Adrian Quaife-Hobbs had a good start to hold onto the lead of the race from Nico Müller, but it was Bottas who flew off the line when the lights went out. The Finn made up two places to take third before the first corner ahead of Rio Haryanto and Mitch Evans with Calado holding his ground in sixth. 

There was then a furious race-long battle for the podium spots from the leading drivers. With Müller pushing Quaife-Hobbs hard for the lead, Haryanto was first to make a move passing Bottas for third and leaving the Finn in the clutches of his teammate Calado. But a few laps in the Marussia Manor Racing squad received a double blow with Müller snatching the lead from Quaife-Hobbs and Bottas taking back the final podium spot from Haryanto. The top three were then side-by-side with the British driver loosing another spot to the Finn.  

Calado made up two more spots by passing Evans and Haryanto, and the battles continued to rage as the laps counted down, until a mistake from Quaife-Hobbs at Ascari led the Manor driver to hit the wall on lap 10 and the safety car was deployed. With just three laps left after the re-start Calado prepared for an attack on his teammate and by the final lap he was pushing Bottas hard to keep his title hopes alive. But the Finn defended perfectly keeping his teammate at bay until the chequered flag came out to crown Bottas champion. Haryanto and Müller swapped places numerous times in the closing laps with the Indonesian eventually grabbing the final podium place.

Simon Trummer finished an impressive fifth for MW Arden ahead of Conor Daly, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Evans, Melker and Richie Stanaway.

As so the champion was crowned and greeted in parc fermé by his team Champions Lotus ART to celebrate.

GP3 Series™ will be back on track tomorrow morning for Race 2 at 09:20 local time with Mitch Evans on pole position for MW Arden.

Race 1 results:

    DRIVER NAT TEAM LAPS TIME GAP BEST
1 2 V. BOTTAS FIN Lotus ART 16 30:03.132   1:45.921
2 3 J. CALADO GBR Lotus ART 16 30:03.510 0.378 1:45.875
3 11 R. HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing 16 30:04.645 1.513 1:45.194
4 7 N. MULLER SUI Jenzer Motorsport 16 30:05.253 2.121 1:46.551
5 27 S. TRUMMER SUI MW Arden 16 30:07.429 4.297 1:45.846
6 14 C. DALY USA Carlin 16 30:07.507 4.375 1:45.660
7 5 A. FELIX DA COSTA POR Status Grand Prix 16 30:07.948 4.816 1:45.679
8 26 M. EVANS NZL MW Arden 16 30:09.069 5.937 1:46.243
9 31 N. MELKER NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 16 30:09.118 5.986 1:45.703
10 1 R. STANAWAY NZL Lotus ART 16 30:11.704 8.572 1:46.123
11 15 C. MACLEOD GBR Carlin 16 30:15.567 12.435 1:46.318
12 30 M. CHRISTENSEN DEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 16 30:16.011 12.879 1:46.708
13 16 L. CORDEIRO BRA Carlin 16 30:16.360 13.228 1:46.882
14 18 T. HYLKEMA NED Tech 1 Racing 16 30:20.263 17.131 1:47.081
15 29 D. MANCINELLI ITA RSC Mucke Motorsport 16 30:20.439 17.307 1:47.311
16 9 C. HURNI SUI Jenzer Motorsport 16 30:27.606 24.474 1:48.780
17 24 G. CHAVES COL Addax Team 16 30:28.347 25.215 1:45.972
18 28 L. WILLIAMSON GBR MW Arden 16 30:29.073 25.941 1:48.355
19 20 M. STOCKINGER PHI Atech CRS GP 16 30:42.125 38.993 1:46.316
20 12 M. LAINE FIN Marussia Manor Racing 16 30:43.254 40.122 1:47.080
21 4 A. SIMS GBR Status Grand Prix 15 28:23.691 DNF 1:45.971
22 17 A. VAINIO FIN Tech 1 Racing 14 26:55.534 DNF 1:46.298
          NC      
  23 T. DILLMANN FRA Addax Team 13 24:51.650 DNF 1:46.002
  10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 10 17:52.499 DNF 1:46.256
  21 N. YELLOLY GBR Atech CRS GP 9 16:21.184 DNF 1:46.413
  19 T. PAL KISS HUN Tech 1 Racing 8 14:21.877 DNF 1:45.746
  6 I. LUKASHEVICH RUS Status Grand Prix 2 3:44.022 DNF 1:49.523
  22 Z. AMBERG SUI Atech CRS GP 0   DNF  
  25 V. GHIRELLI ITA Addax Team 0   DNF  
  8 M. ZIMIN RUS Jenzer Motorsport 0   DNF  
          FASTEST LAP    
  11 R. HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing   1:45.194