Lotus News Article

GP3 - Monza Race Report

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 10:45

GP3 Monza - Lotus ART team celebratesLotus GP secured the GP3 team’s championship for the third year running when Daniel Abt took victory in race one at the season finale at the Monza circuit in Italy this weekend. Together with Conor Daly’s points for fourth place in race one, the team wrapped up the team’s title with one race to spare!

After qualifying 8th on the grid for race one, Daniel Abt was aiming high with his second win in seven days firmly within his sights. After making yet another of his lightning fast starts where he moved to P3 and then to P1 just a few laps later, his aim was realised and he had set the scene for a thrilling fight to the finish for the drivers crown.

Teammate Aaro Vainio , who started 13th on the grid, drove brilliantly to finish third, however, he was later penalised for ignoring yellow flags. The twenty seconds added to his race time saw third place and his dreams of winning the championship disappear. Conor Daly, who started ninth on the grid, also drove a strong race to cross the line in fourth place overall.

Race two and Daniel was in the fight for championship honors, however if he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Valtteri Bottas and make it into the GP3 series Hall of Fame, he needed to win the second race while his rival failed to score. Excitement prevailed as he sliced his way through the field from eighth to fourth to second while his rival encountered one problem after another. With two laps to go, he was leading the race and his rival was out of the points in 20th place, the crown was his, however, with his tyres fading fast, a late charge from another driver snatched the lead and crown out of his hands.

GP3 Monza - Daniel Abt wins race 2

DANIEL ABT

"I'm at a loss for words to describe the feelings I went through this weekend. First things first, a big thank you to Lotus GP for this incredible season. It's not only the win and the title hunt that was magnificent on Saturday, but the way we did it. I had my share of bad luck at the beginning of the season and to secure two wins in a row was the best way to be paid back. It was a dream scenario in race 2 when I took P1. I fought hard to keep it and we had a great battle together with Ellinas, with a lot of overtaking manoeuvres, but I struggled a lot with my tyres in the last four laps. Well, I missed out the championship by two points but we have to see it in a positive way. I am the best rookie of the season, Lotus and I had a fantastic relationship and I've shown what I'm capable of. It will take time to sink in but I honestly think we can be proud of what we achieved. Again, thank you all!"

Conor Daly, GP3, 2012, Monza

CONOR DALY

"It wasn't the way I would have liked to finish the season. I think we had a fantastic race car in race one, the balance was very good and at one point we were close to a Lotus GP 1,2 and 3. Unfortunately contact with another driver damaged the car and we had to settle for 4th. I had another good start in race two but unfortunately went too deep into the parabolica passing for 3rd on lap one and after getting back on track my race was pretty much over. I had a great time working with the team all season and they gave me awesome opportunities to run at the front. We had a lot of bad luck this year with several different things and I also made some mistakes, but to come out of my second season in Europe with a win and several podiums is a nice feeling."

GP3 Monza - Aaro Vainio

AARO VAINIO

"This is obviously not the end to the season that I expected. I arrived at Monza with a real chance for the drivers' title, and even though I was not successful in qualifying, everything was still possible. Lotus GP prepared a perfect race car for me on Saturday and I gave it everything. I worked my way up to third place after an action packed and fun race. Unfortunately, the stewards felt that I had made a mistake in the final corner of the final lap, where there was a yellow flag. The team and I both know that I complied with the yellow flag, as the data telemetry proved. That was it, and so I made the most of Sunday's race, to end the year. I made a good recovery but it was not enough to take 3rd place in the championship. I want to thank Lotus GP because this season has been really rich in both learning and emotion. Thank you also to my sponsors and all those who have supported me this year!"

FREDERIC VASSEUR

"We are the team’s champion for the third time in a row and we can only be happy to make history in this fantastic championship. The downside is Daniel deserved the title and I'm a bit sad for him and for the team because the team effort was splendid. Daniel was just brilliant during the whole weekend, he's smart, fast and talented and I'm sure he has a great career ahead of him. Aaro and Conor were fast and dedicated but they did not grab a few opportunities and you always learn the hard way in a series which is so competitive and complex. Lastly, I want to thank and to congratulate all the team members for their hard work and dedication, our sponsors for a great season. 2013 can come!"

Driver's Championship

Constructor's Championship

1 Mitch Evans 151.5pts 1 Lotus GP 378.5pts
2 Daniel Abt 149.5pts 2 MW Arden 309.5pts
3 Antonio Felix Da Costa 132pts 3 Carlin 171pts
4 Aaro Vainio 123pts 4 Jenzer Motorsport 133.5pts
5 Mattias Laine 111pts 5 Marussia Manor Racing 99pts
6 Conor Daly 106pts 6 Status Grand Prix 67pts
7 Patric Niederhauser 101pts 7 Ocean Racing Technology 56pts
8 Tio Ellinas 99pts 8 Atech CRS Grand Prix 39pts
9 Kevin Ceccon 56pts 9 Trident Racing 31pts
10 Marlon Stockinger 55pts