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GP3 Hungary: Force India F1 junior Mazepin dominates opening race

Nikita Mazepin wins Hungaroring GP3 2018

Force India Formula 1 junior Nikita Mazepin scored a dominant victory in the first GP3 race in Hungary, closing the gap to points leader Anthoine Hubert.

Overtaking was difficult on a track which is notoriously difficult to do so, but a technical issue with DRS did not help however, there were still drivers able to move through the field.

At the start, Mazepin took the lead thanks to a woeful start by Hubert, as Leonardo Pulcini also usurped the erstwhile polesitter.

He controlled the race, and despite his tyres looking less than optimal at half-distance, his lead stretched to over 10 seconds by the finish, taking vital points from Hubert in the process.

Callum Ilott jumped team-mate Jake Hughes thanks to a tidy effort around the outside of Turn 1 at the start of the race to hold fourth, as Hughes began to fall away.

New Trident driver David Beckmann - replacing now Formula 2 driver Alessio Lorandi - was soon right on Hughes's tail and took fifth at Turn 1 on lap 8 of 22.

David Beckmann Trident Hungaroring GP3 2018

Beckmann then reeled in Ilott, and a mistake from the latter at the last turn gave Beckmann a run into Turn 1. He escaped the reach of Ilott thereafter.

Behind, a decisive move came on lap 14 when Hughes and Joey Mawson came together at Turn 1 for the second lap in a row.

On the second occasion, both suffered damage putting Mawson out and Hughes to the back of the pack. The stewards investigated but took no action.

That allowed Ilott to safety, briefly, before he was reeled in and passed by Trident's Ryan Tveter - who had initially dropped back at the start - taking fifth ahead of Ilott.

Juan Manuel Correa headed the Jenzer Motorsport contingent in seventh, ahead of Dorian Boccallacci and Diego Menchaca, who had started 12th.

Boccolacci and Menchaca battled hard throughout the closing laps, and crossed the line almost together while Boccolacci just shaded it.

Gabriel Aubry stole the last point for 10th on the penultimate lap, passing Tatiana Calderon late on.

Niko Kari failed to finish after he and Pedro Piquet touched, while Giuliano Alesi also retired with a technical issue.

Race one result

PosDriverTeamLapsGap
1Nikita MazepinART Grand Prix2235m38.823s
2Leonardo PulciniCampos Racing2210.474s
3Anthoine HubertART Grand Prix2212.735s
4David BeckmannTrident2214.004s
5Ryan TveterTrident2222.572s
6Callum IlottART Grand Prix2226.584s
7Juan Manuel CorreaJenzer Motorsport2229.194s
8Dorian BoccolacciMP Motorsport2239.335s
9Diego MenchacaCampos Racing2239.719s
10Gabriel AubryArden International2240.962s
11Tatiana CalderonJenzer Motorsport2244.346s
12Pedro PiquetTrident2245.028s
13Jannes FittjeJenzer Motorsport2245.334s
14Simo LaaksonenCampos Racing2246.271s
15Julien FalcheroArden International2247.278s
16Jake HughesART Grand Prix221m34.317s
17Giuliano AlesiTrident202 Laps
-Niko KariMP Motorsport14Retirement
-Joey MawsonArden International13Retirement

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