GP3: Jimmy Eriksson comfortably won the sprint race in Sochi
GP3 drivers had very little rest this Saturday as they had both of their races in the morning. The 15-lap long sprint race was comfortably won by Jimmy Eriksson. Ralph Boschung encountered mechanical issues during the formation lap but managed to get the car going and pull over. Also, Bosak started the race from the pits due to penalty issued for colliding with Ceccon who had to retire. Jimmy Eriksson started from pole, with Parry and Fuoco behind. Fuoco immediately overtook Parry and Eriksson kept the lead. Jann Mardenborough started pushing had from the very beginning and soon assumed the second position. Parry’s bad day continued with him damaging his front wing and dropping significantly. The gaps between top 8 were extremely tight in the opening laps, so close racing was expected. Ghiotto posted the fastest lap, but was squeezed out of the track by Bernstorff and dropped to ninth. Ocon was attacking Fuoco for the podium, but didn’t manage to make the necessary move. On lap 6, Stuvik was issued a 10s penalty for hitting Zaid Ashkanani. On lap 7, Ocon had the chance to overtake Fuoco after he made a mistake, but didn’t capitalize which brought Bernstorff to his tail.
Halfway into the race, Eriksson had a comfortable 2.7s advantage over Mardenborough and Ocon finally moved to third after making the move on Fuoco. With a risky defensive move Fuoco managed to keep Bernstorff from overtaking him for fourth, which gained him a black and white flag. Bernstorff eventually managed to overtake Fuoco, but he ran wide in the chicane and lost one place to Janosz. By lap 11, the gap between Eriksson and Mardenborough was almost four seconds and Ocon pushed hard to get to Mardenborough and battle with him for second. Ocon eventually got very close to Mardenborough, and passed him on lap 14. In the last lap, Bernstorff ran wide at Turn 2 again and almost lost his place to Kirchhofer. Jimmy Eriksson won the race 2.7s in front of Esteban Ocon who won his 9th consecutive second place and important points in the race for the championship win. Mardenborough was third, followed by Fuoco and Janosz in top five. Bernstorff and Kirchhofer followed while the final point was won by Luca Ghiotto. Palou and Morris completed the top 10.