2012 GP3 Series
|2012 GP3 Series|
The 2012 GP3 Series season was the third season of the GP3 Series, a feeder series for the GP2 Series. The season began at Barcelona on 12 May and concluded at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on 9 September after eight rounds made up of two races each and all in support of European Formula One Grands Prix. The winner of the championship was Mitch Evans from New Zealand driving for the MW Arden team.
The series adopted the points system used by Formula One for the feature race, with points awarded to the top ten drivers and twenty-five points on offer for victory. The points awarded in the sprint race also were changed, with the winner receiving fifteen points and top eight drivers receiving points. The points awarded for pole position and the fastest lap of the race also were doubled.
Teams and drivers
Ten teams and thirty drivers had been due to take part in the 2012 season. However, in April 2012 it was reported that only twenty-seven drivers would take place with Mücke Motorsport missing from the grid.
|Lotus GP||1||Daniel Abt||All|
|MW Arden||4||Mitch Evans||All|
|Marussia Manor Racing||7||Dmitry Suranovich||All|
|Status Grand Prix||14||Marlon Stöckinger||All|
|15||Kotaro Sakurai||1–2, 4|
|Ocean Racing Technology||17||Carmen Jordá||All|
|Jenzer Motorsport||20||Robert Visoiu||All|
|Trident Racing||23||Vicky Piria||All|
|27||António Félix da Costa||All|
|Atech CRS Grand Prix||29||Tamás Pál Kiss||All|
|30||John Wartique||1–3, 7–8|
- Changed teams
- Conor Daly, who contested the 2011 season with Carlin, signed with Lotus GP.
- After a season with Status Grand Prix, António Félix da Costa moved to Carlin, a team he competed with at two rounds of the series in 2010.
- Matias Laine switched from Marussia Manor Racing to MW Arden.
- Tamás Pál Kiss, who raced for Tech 1 Racing, joined Atech CRS.
- Marlon Stöckinger left ATECH CRS Grand Prix to join Status Grand Prix.
- Aaro Vainio moved from Tech 1 Racing to Lotus GP.
- Entering/Re-Entering GP3 Series
- Daniel Abt joined the series, driving for Lotus GP, after a season in the Formula 3 Euro Series.
- Alex Brundle competes in the series for Carlin, moving from the FIA Formula Two Championship. He was joined by British Formula 3 driver William Buller.
- Auto GP champion Kevin Ceccon and Irish Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series driver Robert Cregan signed with Ocean Racing Technology for his series debut.
- Cypriot-born British Formula Renault driver Tio Ellinas joined Marussia Manor Racing.
- European F3 Open runner-up David Fumanelli made his series debut, driving for MW Arden.
- After missing the 2011 racing season, Carmen Jordá drives for the Ocean Racing Technology team.
- Jakub Klášterka returned to motorsport after two-year absence, joining Jenzer Motorsport.
- Formula Three Sudamericana champion Fabiano Machado entered the series with Marussia Manor Racing.
- Italian Formula Abarth champion Patric Niederhauser and fellow Formula Abarth driver Robert Visoiu moved into the GP3 Series, continuing their association with Jenzer Motorsport. Both combine GP3 with an Italian Formula Three program with BVM and Ghinzani Arco Motorsport respectively.
- Formula Abarth graduate Vicky Piria became the series' first female driver, after signing for Trident Racing. She was joined in the team by fellow Formula Abarth driver Antonio Spavone, who also competing in Auto GP World Series in 2012.
- British Formula Renault driver Alice Powell signed with Status Grand Prix, and was joined in the team by British Formula 3 Rookie champion Kotaro Sakurai.
- F2000 Series and Formula Enterprise driver Ethan Ringel joined Atech CRS Grand Prix.
- After driving for four rounds in Formula Abarth with Euronova Racing, Dmitry Suranovich joined Marussia Manor Racing for his GP3 Series debut.
- Belgian sports car racer John Wartique made his debut in GP3 and single seaters with Atech CRS GP team.
- Mid-season changes
- Jakub Klášterka left Jenzer Motorsport between the Monaco and Valencia rounds of the championship. He was replaced by Auto GP World Series driver Facu Regalia for the next round at Silverstone.
- Kotaro Sakurai left Status Grand Prix due to sponsorship problems. His place was filled by Lewis Williamson, who previously raced in GP3 with MW Arden.
- Giovanni Venturini joined the series for the rest of the season from Silverstone onwards, driving a third car for Trident Racing.
- John Wartique was replaced by Fabio Gamberini at Atech CRS Grand Prix for the Silverstone round after Wartique's sponsors failed to meet their financial obligations with the team.
- The series has proposed amending the rules which mean teams are obligated to run three cars. Under the proposed rule changes, teams will only need to enter two cars, and will have the option of entering a third.
- Addax Team will exit the championship to concentrate on their GP2 Series team, and will be replaced by Trident Racing. Trident started the season with only two cars instead of three, before entering a third from Silverstone onwards.
- After competing as Lotus ART in 2011, ART Grand Prix was renamed as Lotus Grand Prix in both the GP2 and GP3 Series championships, reflecting their increased relationship with title sponsor Lotus Cars. The cars will carry a black and gold livery modelled on the livery used by parent team Lotus F1.
- Ocean Racing Technology replaced Tech 1 Racing.
- RSC Mücke, the Ralf Schumacher-Mücke Motorsport collaboration, indicated to series organisers that they would not be taking part in the 2012 season, reducing the number of cars on the grid from thirty to twenty-seven.
The 2012 calendar was announced on 16 December 2011. The series will consist of eight rounds, with a round in Monaco confirmed on 26 January 2012. The series had previously attempted to include a race in Monaco for the 2011 season, but was forced to abandon its plans when it was found that the support paddock did not have enough space for the GP3 Series. The series will support every Grand Prix on the European leg of the 2012 Formula One season.
|1||R1||Catalunya, Spain||Circuit de Catalunya||12 May||Spanish Grand Prix|
|2||R1||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Circuit de Monaco||25 May||Monaco Grand Prix|
|3||R1||Valencia. Spain||Valencia Street Circuit||23 June||European Grand Prix|
|4||R1||Silverstone, UK||Silverstone Circuit||7 July||British Grand Prix|
|5||R1||Hockenheim, Germany||Hockenheimring||21 July||German Grand Prix|
|6||R1||Budapest, Hungary||Hungaroring||28 July||Hungarian Grand Prix|
|7||R1||Spa, Belgium||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps||1 September||Belgian Grand Prix|
|8||R1||Monza, Italy||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||8 September||Italian Grand Prix|
Carlin's António Félix da Costa qualified on pole position by 0.01 seconds to Lotus GP drivers Conor Daly and Aaro Vainio. However, on the start of the race their team-mate Daniel Abt made a lightning getaway from seventh grid position to lead. But Abt and Félix da Costa both had a jump start and got drive-through penalty. Returnee Mitch Evans, who was behind the two drivers after the start, won the opening race at Barcelona. Status Grand Prix's Marlon Stöckinger scored his first series podium, finishing second. Vainio completed the podium. Conor Daly recouped in the sprint race, claiming his first series win. Reverse polesitter Robert Visoiu and MW Arden's Matias Laine were also on podium.
Two weeks later at Monaco Vainio took the championship lead from Evans after his first series win from pole position in the feature race. He was joined on podium by Atech CRS GP's Tamás Pál Kiss and Ocean Racing Technology's Kevin Ceccon. Stöckinger, who started from reverse pole, celebrated his first series win. Félix da Costa and Abt completed the podium. The race was noted by two huge accidents between Carlin team-mates Alex Brundle and William Buller, and between Marussia Manor Racing's Dmitry Suranovich and Daly.
The next series stop was at Valencia Street Circuit, where Mitch Evans regained championship lead with win from pole. Aaro Vainio was second, while David Fumanelli scored his first series podium. Like at Monaco the win in the sprint race was claimed by reverse polesitter. This time it was Jenzer Motorsport's Patric Niederhauser, who won the race in GP3 for the first time. Abt and Laine completed the podium.
Prior Silverstone round António Félix da Costa became part of the Red Bull Junior Team and his results increased. He scored his first win of the season, despite start behind championship leaders Evans and Vainio, who joined Félix da Costa on podium. Thanks to tyre strategy William Buller had incredible win in the second race starting from last row on the grid. Daly and Niederhauser completed the podium.
Daniel Abt scored his first pole position on the home soil at Hockenheim. But wet race conditions helped Patric Niederhauser score his second win. Conor Daly and Trident Racing's Giovanni Venturini joined him on podium. Evans extended championship lead by winning the sprint race. He was joined by Lotus GP's Abt and Daly. The race was noted by airborne accidents which left Vicky Piria and Fabiano Machado with injuries.
António Félix da Costa was unstoppable at Budapest, becoming the first GP3 Series driver, who had double win during the weekend. Habitual residents of the podium Abt, Evans and Niederhauser rose again on the podium stages, with Alex Brundle, who joined them for the first time.
- Scoring system
Points are awarded to the top 10 classified finishers in the Race 1, and to the top 8 classified finishers in the Race 2. The pole-sitter in the Race 1 will also receive four points, and two points are given to the driver who set the fastest lap inside the top ten in both the Race 1 and 2. No extra points are awarded to the pole-sitter in the Race 2.
- Race 1 points
Points are awarded to the top 10 classified finishers.
- Race 2 points
Points are awarded to the top 8 classified finishers.
Bold – Pole
- † — Drivers did not finish the race, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
Bold – Pole
- † — Drivers did not finish the race, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
- Marlon Stöckinger set the fastest lap, but finished outside the top 10, so he was ineligible to score points for the fastest lap.
- Mitch Evans set the fastest lap, but finished outside the top 10, so he was ineligible to score points for the fastest lap.
- Half points were awarded for the feature race as less than 75% of the race distance had been completed.
- "GP2 & GP3 Series adopt F1 points system". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Lotus ART becomes Lotus GP in 2012". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- "Daniel Abt joins Lotus GP". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Lotus GP sign American ace Daly". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "Lotus GP confirm Aaro Vainio for 2012 season". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- "GP3 Series teams revealed". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Mitch Evans signs with MW Arden for 2012 GP3 season". Arden International. Arden International Motorsport Limited. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "David Fumanelli joins MW Arden for 2012 GP3 Series season". Arden International. Arden International Motorsport Limited. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Matias Laine completes MW Arden driver line up for 2012 GP3 Series season". Arden International. Arden International Motorsport Limited. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- "Russia's Dmitry Suranovich will drive for the team in this year's GP3 Series". Marussia F1. Marussia Motors. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Marussia Manor Racing GP3 Confirms Fabiano Machado for 2012 Season". marussiamanorracing.com. Marussia Manor Racing. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Tio Ellinas completes Marussia Manor Racing GP3 driver line-up". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Filipino-Swiss driver Marlon Stöckinger joins Status GP for 2012". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "Kotaro Sakurai joins Status GP for 2012 GP3 Series season". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- Kotaro Sakurai ran under a Japanese licence for the first two meetings of the season before changing to a Filipino one for Silverstone.
- "Status GP sign up Scottish racer Lewis Williamson". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Status Grand Prix sign Alice Powell". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Elizalde, Pablo (7 March 2012). "Ocean replaces Tech 1 in GP3 series from 2012 season". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Jorda and Cregan join Ocean Racing Technology". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
- "Kevin Ceccon signs on with Ocean Racing Technology in the GP3 Séries". oceanracingtech.com. Ocean Racing Technology. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Jenzer Motorsport announce first GP3 driver for 2012 as Robert Visoiu". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 13 February 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Jenzer Motorsport confirm Niederhauser for 2012". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 3 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- "Jakub Klasterka takes last seat". jenzermotorsport.ch. Jenzer Motorsport. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- "Facu Regalia (ARG) joins us for Silverstone". jenzermotorsport.ch. Jenzer Motorsport. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Alex Fontana joins Jenzer for Budapest". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "Trident Racing to enter GP3 Series". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Vicky Piria joins Trident Racing for 2012 GP3 Series". TridentRacing.it. Trident Racing. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Spavone joins Trident Racing for 2012". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Trident Racing join forces with Venturini". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Brundle joins Carlin for GP3". Carlin. Capsicum. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Antonio Felix da Costa confirmed at Carlin for GP3". Carlin. Capsicum. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Buller completes Carlin's GP3 squad". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Atech CRS GP announce Pal Kiss in GP3 line-up". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "Atech CRS GP confirms Wartique for GP3 campaign". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "2012 Season Round 4 Preview, Silverstone, England". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
Thirdly, John Wartique departs Atech CRS GP and in comes Fabio Gamberini from Brazil.
- "2012 Season Preview: Round 6, Budapest Hungary". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
Atech CRS GP have Argentine driver Facu Regalia driving for them in Budapest after he had raced with Jenzer in Silverstone.
- "ATECH CRS GP signs Ethan Ringel for GP3 assault". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- "Tech 1 welcomes GP3's relaxation of three-car stipulation". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Matias Laine leads MW Arden one-two in opening GP3 practice at Barcelona". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "2012 GP3 Series Calendar". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 16 December 2011. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "The GP3 Series confirms Monaco to its 2012 calendar". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- Freeman, Glenn (17 December 2011). "GP3 working to add Monaco to 2012 calendar". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Felix Da Costa flies to maiden pole in Barcelona". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Mitch Evans wins GP3 opener in Spain". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Daly celebrating first GP3 win in Spain". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Vainio claims maiden victory in Monte Carlo". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Stöckinger wins as Daly suffers airborne crash". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Evans takes championship lead with victory". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Niederhauser takes maiden win in Valencia". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Felix Da Costa joins Red Bull Development programme". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Felix Da Costa takes commanding win in Silverstone". GP3 Series. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Buller wins from 25th in GP3 Race 2". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Abt seals home pole in Germany". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Niederhauser overcomes rain to win in Germany". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Evans wins crash-affected second race". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Félix da Costa victorious at Hungaroring". 28 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Félix Da Costa claims historic GP3 double". 29 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.