Abu Dhabi season's finale: Maiden win for Kari, fifth win for Markelov
George Russell already secured the 2017 GP3 Series championship title, so the season’s finale at Yas Marina Circuit would bring us the name of the vice-champion. There were few candidates for that spot but neither one of them manage to finish the first race among the front-runners.
The hero of Saturday’s race was the Finnish driver Niko Kari (Arden International), who scored his maiden GP3 Series victory, ahead of pole-sitter George Russell (ART Grand Prix) and Arjun Maini (Jenzer Motorsport).
ART Grand Prix teammates Jack Aitken and Nirei Fukuzumi, who are fighting for the runner-up spot in the championship, both missing to score points in the first race. Aitken finished 14th, one place ahead of Fukuzumi. Before tomorrow’s final race of the season, Aitken has 6-point advantage.
The situation in the FIA Formula 2 Championship is similar to GP3 Series, with Charles Leclerc already secured championship title and several drivers fighting for the runner-up spot.
Oliver Rowland (DAMS), who is second in the points, made a big step forward by taking provisional win in Saturday’s Feature race ahead of main rival Artem Markelov (Russian Time), who is third in the overall classification. But, after the race, both Rowland and third-placed Antonio Fuoco (Prema Racing) were disqualified.
They have been disqualified the stewards’ review of reports from the Technical Delegate regarding anomalies found during post-race scrutineering. Rowland finished the race with a skid block which was be below the prescribed thickness in the Technical Regulations. Fuoco has also been penalised after his front tyres were below the minimum specified tyre pressure.
These disqualifications promote Artem Markelov to first place for a fifth win this season, with Charles Leclerc second and Luca Ghiotto third. That means Markelov is the vice-champion with 17-points advantage over Rowland. In the battle for the Teams’ Championship crown, Russian Time leads with 385 points, twenty more than Prema Racing and thirty more than DAMS.