Sergio: “It feels great to be back on the podium and to be able to celebrate with my team. I have been enjoying my time with the team so much and this is a great reward for all the work we have put in together. The call to pit under the safety car turned out to be very good because it gave us track position ahead of all the battles. With one lap to go, when Valtteri (Bottas) and Kimi (Raikkonen) passed me, it felt like this result had been taken from us: I was obviously disappointed but I also knew I had given all I could during the race. There was no more I could do because I had been on the same tyres for more than 40 laps. When I finally managed to get back into third it was just an amazing feeling. I am happy I was able to share this second podium with my team. It’s a very special result and one that fills me with expectation ahead of the races in Austin and especially Mexico City.”



The super Swede was happy to be back on the top step after enduring some challenging times this season: The Koiranen GP ace started from reverse pole and saw off the advances of Antonio Fuoco who briefly held the lead on the opening lap. From then on, Eriksson drove a calm and confident race to the flag, which was somewhat fitting after losing the race win with technical gremlins at the previous event in Monza. ART Grand Prix’s Esteban Ocon recorded his ninth consecutive second place with some brave overtakes whilst Carlin’s Jann Mardenborough made a return to the rostrum in third.
It was a busy morning for the GP3 Series with the second race of Round 7 of the 2015 GP3 Series taking place just one and half hours after race one. It was a Koiranen GP front row with Eriksson and Matthew Parry, ahead of the Carlin duo of Fuoco and Mardenborough. Eriksson made a good start, but not as well as Fuoco who flew away from third.
The Italian edged past the Swede for a few moments but had to leave the Koiranen GP ace space going into Turn 1. Eriksson ran wide but maintained his lead, whilst Mardenborough nipped past Fuoco for third. Unfortunately for Parry, he was slow away from the front row and he pulled into the pits to retire early on.
Title contenders Ocon and Luca Ghiotto were up to P4 and P6 respectively, with Arden International’s Emil Bernstorff sandwiched between the pair. On lap four, Series leader Ghiotto attempted an overtake on the Brit for fourth, but ran wide over the kerbs; losing three places in the process and dropping outside of the points.
Eriksson led by 1.6s over Mardenborough, with Fuoco close behind his Carlin teammate. Ocon was soon hot on the tail of Fuoco and after several laps and an incredible wheel to wheel fight with the Ferrari Academy Driver, the Frenchman made a brave move stick for third place.
Bernstorff was right behind this tussle and saw his opportunity to pounce, but his move was denied by Fuoco. On lap ten, the Brit tried again, but ran wide at Turn 2, allowing Artur Janosz into fifth place. Eriksson began to extend his margin at the front of the field to over 3.4s over Mardenborough, whilst Ocon began to reel in the Brit.
The ART Grand Prix star was catching Mardenborough at a rapid rate and on the penultimate lap he made and impressive and bold pass on the Carlin driver at Turn 16 for second place. There was a gaggle of cars scrapping for Bernstorff’s P6, and on the final lap, Ghiotto overtook Campos Racing’s Alex Palou for the last point on offer in eighth.
At the chequered flag, Eriksson was pleased to enjoy his first win of the season, his third in the category. Ocon took yet another second place finish which has closed the gap considerably in the title battle. Mardenborough claimed his second podium finish of the year ahead of Fuoco, Janosz, Bernstorff, Kirchhöfer and Ghiotto.
Ghiotto’s advantage in the Drivers’ Standings has been cut to just two points, with Ghiotto on 196 and Ocon on 194. Bernstorff has moved into third on 146, also just two points ahead of Kirchhöfer. ART Grand Prix have a mammoth lead in the Teams’ Standings: They sit pretty on 357, ahead of Arden International (227) and Trident (224) respectively.
Round 8 of the GP3 Series will take place at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain next month on 19-21 November 2015.



Alexander Rossi came out victorious in today’s eventful and shortened feature race at the Sochi Autodrom: the American whose goal was to finish ahead of Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne in order to keep his title hopes alive put in a skillful drive to win in spite of a red flag  period and a tricky race strategy in only 15 laps. Frenchman Pierre Gasly split the fighting pair on the podium to take second place.
It all happened at the start: when the lights went out, polesitter Alex Lynn made a perfect getaway to keep the lead. Vandoorne was slow away from the front row and bogged down to fourth as Rossi flew past him and moved up to P2. The American had to defend his position from a charging Arthur Pic at Turn 1 whilst Vandoorne lost another position to Gasly.
There was chaos further down the pack: Artem Markelov went too wide at Turn 2 and touched the wall attempting to re-join the track. Having no control of his machine, he crashed into the barrier collecting Sergio Canamasas and Marlon Stockinger on the way. Jordan King who had made contact earlier with Stockinger at Turn 2 also crashed into the wall a corner later. The safety car came out, but the race was rapidly red flagged as all four men came out of their cars unharmed.
The field returned to the pitlane while the techpro barrier was fixed. But as the daylight decreased, the race distance was reduced to a total of 15 laps instead of 28 – meaning that at the re-start behind the safety car, the drivers had only 12 laps left to observe their mandatory pitstop. Lynn remained in control of the rest of the pack and built a 3s gap to Rossi and Pic whilst Gasly was under pressure from Vandoorne. The Briton from DAMS pitted on Lap 6 for Medium tyres. His teammate did the same one lap later but this time to switch from option to prime. Rossi chose to stop on Lap 8 for Medium tyres and re-joined the track on cold tyres just a hairsbreadth ahead of Lynn who eased his way past the American.
Vandoorne who had been all over Pic, eventually got past him after the Frenchman made a small mistake and went too wide. The Belgian was then into the lead of the race but still had to pit. More drama came from Lynn who up until then looked like a sure bet for the win: the Briton ran too wide at Turn 14 and made contact with the barrier; effectively ending his race, and leaving Rossi as the net race leader.
Vandoorne pitted on lap 12 and re-joined behind the pair of Rossi and Gasly with just three laps to go. Trying to close in on the leaders, the ART driver made two small mistakes, enough to know that the win would not be his today. Still, he pushed hard on the final lap to clock in the best laptime of the day and add the bonus points to his tally.
When the chequered flag dropped, Rossi savoured his third win of the season and breathed a sigh of relief knowing his title hopes were still alive. Gasly who had matched the American’s pace throughout the race had to settle for a strong second place ahead of Vandoorne. Sergey Sirotkin finished fourth from tenth on the grid ahead of Rio Haryanto, Raffaele Marciello, Richie Stanaway, Pic, newcomer Dean Stoneman and Nobuharu Matsushita.
Following the race, half points were issued: Rossi scored 12.5 points whilst Vandoorne added 7.5 points to his tally leaving a gap of 104 points between the pair, and giving the American no option other than to repeat today’s masterclass.



Frenchman Esteban Ocon secured his first pole position in GP3 in a dramatic qualifying session at the Sochi Autodrom. The ART Grand Prix and Mercedes backed driver topped qualifying at various times and won the battle for pole by a mere 0.040’s over Jenzer Motorsport’s Matheo Tuscher. Kevin Ceccon (Arden International) was third whilst Series leader Luca Ghiotto will start seventh.
Following rain overnight, damp conditions greeted the 24 drivers for qualifying for Round 7 of the 2015 GP3 Series in Russia. Carlin’s Jann Mardenborough was the initial pace setter after setting the fastest time on wet Pirelli tyres with the rest of the field on slicks.
Trident’s Ghiotto then headed the timesheet as the track began to dry, with Seb Morris (Status Grand Prix) next to lead the way. Ghiotto was first to lap under the 2 minute mark, with his rookie teammate Michele Beretta an impressive second at the midway point.
Russian star Konstantin Tereshchenko was also catching everyone’s eye as he rose to P2, displacing the Italian and looked on course to take provisional time, but unfortunately he was caught in traffic after posting two purple sectors.
Tuscher climbed to the top spot, before Antonio Fuoco and then Ocon displaced the Swiss driver. Series leader Ghiotto was soon back up the sharp end, lapping in the 1m54’s as the times continued to tumble down as it was clear to  everyone that pole was going to be set at the very end of the session on a drying track.
Ocon retaliated and was back in P1 by six tenths of a second, before Ceccon found some extra pace to briefly hold command of the timesheet. However, the Frenchman looked ominous and wanted to reclaim provisional pole and dipped into the 1m53’s at the chequered flag, with a perfectly timed lap.
Ocon recorded his debut pole in the category ahead of Tuscher, whose P2 on the grid is a career best. Ceccon in third also enjoys his best qualifying of the season ahead of Alex Palou (Campos Racing), Mardenborough, Matthew Parry, Ghiotto, Emil Bernstorff, Fuoco and Morris.
Catch the forty-minute long race at the earlier than usual time of 13:30.



Frenchman Esteban Ocon posted the quickest time in a wet free practice session at the Sochi Autodrom: the ART Grand Prix and Mercedes backed driver’s laptime of 2:09.319 was two tenths faster than Jenzer Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung. Marvin Kirchhöfer was third.
Free Practice for Round 7 of the 2015 GP3 Series season was run in damp conditions following rain earlier in the day. However, the heavens opened just as the forty-five minute session got underway providing even more of a challenge, with a large number of drivers making their first appearance around the Sochi track.
As the session commenced in cool temperatures, Kirchhöfer was an early spinner at Turn 7. Seb Morris (Status Grand Prix) led the way before the German driver soon found some pace to top the times. Ocon was in second behind his teammate, ahead of Arden International’s Kevin Ceccon and Boschung.
Numerous drivers ran off in the tricky conditions as the rain began to fall heavier. Swiss rookie Boschung shot to P1, one tenth ahead of the German, before spinning at Turn 18. Ocon improved on Boschung’s time by two tenths before a red flag halted proceedings. Alex Fontana drifted wide at Turn 4, and spun off, making contact with the barrier. His session was over, as the clock continued to tick down whilst his car was recovered.
There was six minutes remaining when the session went “green” with the drivers’ queuing out of the pitlane to head back onto the track. As the weather worsened, the times failed to improve with stoppages and spins for Artur Janosz, Zaid Ashkanani and Alfonso Celis. Jr.
At the chequered flag, Ocon remained head of the timesheet, ahead of Boschung, Kirchhöfer, Ceccon, Series leader Luca Ghiotto, Alex Palou, Jimmy Eriksson, Emil Bernstorff, Sandy Stuvik and Seb Morris.
Qualifying takes place at 09.30 am local time tomorrow morning. The four points on pole could prove very decisive in the fight for the title…



McLaren tester and Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne was on top form in this morning’s free practice at the Sochi Autodrom: with a laptime of 1:45.326 – six tenths clear from Arthur Pic in P2, the Belgian easily topped the session laying his cards on the table before this afternoon’s qualifying session as title rival Alexander Rossi had a more challenging session and finished eighth.
The pitlane opened under grey skies and in cool temperatures. Raffaele Marciello was the first driver to feed onto the track on Medium Pirelli tyres, but it was Alex Lynn who set the early pace ahead of the Italian. Vandoorne was next to go top, but Lynn was able to go even faster to reclaim P1.
Vandoorne however was clearly on a mission: he was the first man to dip under 1m47s (six tenths clear from Lynn). As Pierre Gasly edged his teammate out of P2 and reduced the gap to Vandoorne, the ART racer found some extra pace again on his next lap to leave the Frenchman 1.160s behind on the timing screens. Vandoorne eventually crushed his rivals’ hopes for glory after he broke the 1m46s barrier with ten minutes left on the clock.
Behind him, Rio Haryanto moved up to P2, but his teammate Arthur Pic bettered his laptime in the final stages of the session and relegated the Indonesian to third. At the chequered flag and behind the top three, Mitch Evans finished fourth ahead of Lynn and Gasly. It was a trickier session for Rossi who seemed to struggle in the opening stages (he span at Sector 11 but was able to resume): the American managed to move up to P7 in the dying minutes, but Sergey Sirotkin edged him out at the chequered flag. Marciello and Nobuharu Matsushita completed the top ten.
With the weather forecast uncertain for this afternoon (light raindrops made an appearance at the end of the free practice), the order might be reshuffled for the qualifying session in a few hours’ time.

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