ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries has taken his first victory in the GP3 Series in a sometimes dramatic sprint race at Monza.
Home driver Antonio Fuoco started from reverse grid pole but was quickly passed by both de Vries’ teammate Albon and the Dutch driver to fall to third.
DAMS’ Jake Hughes had another difficult start to a race as he was caught up in drama on the first lap and fell down the order, while Arden International’s Jake Dennis moved up to fourth place ahead of teammate Jack Aitken after a safety car period emerged on lap three.
Normal racing was interrupted as the other two ART cars of Nirei Fukuzumi and Charles Leclerc spectacularly collided in front of Aitken and teammate Tatiana Calderon, bring both of their races to an end. Calderon, who had moved up to eighth and looked good for another points finish, was caught up in the incident and fell down the order.
Racing resumed at the start of lap six as Albon managed the restart well to retain the lead. However, it would not be long until de Vries found a way past to take the lead and start establishing a gap between himself and his teammate.
Calderon’s race would get slightly worse as she was given a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane after making a stop after the incident while Trident’s Sandy Stuvik was given a five-second time penalty for causing a collision.
Drivers tried making moves on each other for points positions as Stuvik fought to try and steal sixth place from Campos Racing’s Alex Palou. However, on his next attempt, he had to avoid contact with other cars and lost out massively, falling down to 11th. Jenzer Motorsport’s Arjun Maini then got past Trident’s Artur Janosz for seventh place.
Aitken had closed to just a couple of tenths behind his teammate in the battle for fourth but had to cut the corner in trying to make a move around the outside of the first turn.
There was no change out in front though as de Vries comfortably took his first win, with Albon and Fuoco also easily completing the podium. Dennis remained in front of Aitken for fourth place, with Maini got past Palou with a last-gasp move for sixth place. Janosz was the last points-scorer in eighth.
Koiranen GP’s Ralph Boschung finishing in ninth ahead of Hughes who got up the order to 10th at the chequered flag. DAMS’ Santino Ferrucci finished 11th, with teammate Kevin Joerg in 12th and Campos’ Steijn Schothorst in 13th ahead of his teammate Konstantin Tereschenko.
Stuvik and Calderon completed the race in 15th and 16 ahead of Koiranen’s Matt Parry, Jenzer’s Akash Nandy and Trident’s Giuliano Alesi.
Koiranen’s Matevos Isaakyan retired with seven laps to go with damage to his car, while Fukuzumi and Leclerc were the other two retirements.
The result closes Leclerc’s Drivers’ Championship lead to just 24 points, with the Monegasque driver on a total of 177 compared to Fuoco’s 153. Albon is in third on 145, with de Vries being the fourth driver to move onto triple figures on 104 points.
Champions ART have extended their Teams’ Championship lead to 276 points on 453 compared to Arden’s 187 after celebrating their triumph in the morning before the race. Trident have fallen to 22 points behind Arden in third on 165, 28 points ahead of Koiranen.