Esteban Ocon victorious in the first 2015 GP3 race
The first GP3 race of the season began 17:20 on Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya under ideal conditions with Luca Ghiotto on pole. A 22 laps long race was won by Esteban Ocon by 3.5 seconds in a thrilling finish, thus completing ART GP’s perfect weekend.
Esteban Ocon almost immediately overtook Ghiotto, and the duo was followed by Emil Bernstorff, Alfonso Celis Jr. and Matheo Tuscher. Ocon started increasing his lead, and by lap 5 it was already over three seconds. The only female in the grid, Samin Gomez was forced in the pits by a tire puncture after an incident involving Artur Janosz. Alex Palou Montalbo overtook Pal Varhaug in a great battle for eighth, and Varhaug continued his drop to 14th by lap 9.
Halfway into the race Ocon led the pack with a 4.7 gap over Ghiotto and 8.1 over Bernstorff. On turn 10 the safety car entered the track because of a collision between Seb Morris and Ralph Boschung. The safety car decreased the gap between Ocon and Ghiotto to 0.9 when the race restarted on lap 16. Also, Gomez was penalized for 10 seconds for causing a collision with Janosz. Ocon soon managed to increase the gap to 1.5 seconds over Ghiotto and meanwhile, Jann Mardenborough and Jimmy Eriksson battled hard for seventh, when Eriksson finally gave way to Mardenborough who continued his progress to fourth position.
At the end of the race, it was Ocon who won in front of Ghiotto, who was barely holding off Bernstorff. Jann Mardenborough’s efforts paid off with the fourth, in front of Marvin Kirchhöfer, Jimmy Eriksson, Kevin Ceccon, Antonio Fuoco, Alex Fontana and Sandy Stuvik who was on tenth. The full table is the following: