Pulcini scored a fantastic race win in dominating form in Abu Dhabi with Laaksonen securing his maiden podium in the series on Sunday
Campos Racing made a double presence on the podium with their drivers at the Yas Marina Circuit. Leonardo Pulcini claimed another win in dominating style on Saturday with his teammate Simo Laaksonen taking his first rostrum finish in the GP3 Series with a sensational performance on Sunday.
Pulcini, seventh in the free practice session, hit the track to fight for pole position in qualifying. Pulcini qualified a mere 67 thousandths of a second off pace with the Italian driver posting a lap of 1m54.952s to secure a front row start alongside poleman Nikita Mazepin. Laaksonen lined up ninth on the grid with his lap of 1m55.535s and Mexican Diego Menchaca set to start from 17th with his lap of 1m55.914s.
Saturday’s race 1 saw a breathtaking duel in the opening laps with Pulcini and Mazepin passing each other several times. Finally, Pulcini moved definitively into the lead in lap 5. At the same time, Mazepin ran wide and handed a ten-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. It still strengthened further Pulcini’s lead and took the checkered flag with an 8-second advantage over David Beckmann. Laaksonen made it into the points-paying positions with ninth place and Menchaca came 18th.
On Sunday, Pulcini got involved in a clash with Beckmann and Anthoine Hubert but, despite he could continue, lost several places. Therefore, Laaksonen spearheaded the Campos Racin charge on this occasion and moved up to sixth from the beginning. In lap ten, Laaksonen took the fifth place after passing Giuliano Alesi and secured his podium finish when passed Callum Ilott and Juan Manuel Correa in the final lap. It was an excellent first rostrum in his maiden GP3 Series season. Pulcini ended up 12th and Menchaca finished four places behind.
After nine events, Pulcini ranked fourth in the Drivers’ standings on 156 points – 2 wins, 2 second places and a third– with Campos Racing sitting third in the Teams’ championship on 185 points.
The first collective test of the GP3 Series will take place on 30 November – 1 December at the Yas Marina Circuit.