Abu Dhabi: Leonardo Pulcini won a spectacular GP3 Series race in Abu Dhabi, while Frenchman Anthoine Hubert was crowned champion after Nikita Mazepin, went out after a 10-second penalty.
Hubert now has 214 points and with Mazepin on 183 — a 31-point margin cannot be breached with a maximum of 15 on offer in Sunday’s 14-lap sprint race.
Thus, Hubert, 22, who finished third after being overtaken by David Beckmann for second in the last lap has sealed the 2018 championship.
The Frenchman clearly preferred not to engage in any battle to win the race and that ploy seemed to have worked.
Italian Pulcini had led until lap four, when Mazepin powered through on turn 11 to regain top spot.
However, Pulcini did not give up and the Campos Racing driver took advantage of a Mazepin error in turn 17 and returned to lead the race.
Pulcini then kept the lead to win the race and Mazepin came second to finish but a penalty saw him finish fifth.
ART’s Callum Ilott eventually took fourth with Jake Hughes dramatically losing performance in the final few laps. Giuliano Alesi, the son of French Formula One great Jean, had to settle for sixth spot.
Jenzer duo Juan Manuel Correa and Tatiana Calderon were eighth and 10th respectively, sandwiching the second Campos car of Simo Laaksonen.