Russell beats ART team-mates for Monza win
3 September 2017 – George Russell prevailed in a thrilling scrap with ART team-mates Jack Aitken and Anthoine Hubert as the trio escaped the madness behind during GP3's sole race at Monza.
Heavy rain on Saturday forced the postponement of Race 1 to Sunday morning, with the scheduled Race 2 cancelled, while the drivers lined up in practice order, having been unable to qualify.
Nirei Fukuzumi was set to start from pole position but a technical problem prevented him from making the grid, clearing the way for Russell to assume the position.
Russell, Hubert and Aitken broke clear, though the Safety Car was called for a lengthy spell, after Leonardo Pulcini and Alessio Lorandi collided approaching the Roggia chicane.
Amid ducking and diving on the run to the complex, Pulcini mounted the rear of Lorandi's Jenzer and the cars became lodged, before both clattered into the barriers.
At the restart, Russell tried to inch clear, but Hubert remained within striking distance and captured the lead with a move into Roggia.
Russell, though, reclaimed his authority two laps later, before the Virtual Safety Car was called when Juan Manuel Correa torpedoed Jenzer team-mate Arjun Maini at Rettifilo.
When the race resumed, Aitken got the better run out of Parabolica and swept into the lead, but Russell again fought back, moving ahead into Roggia on the next lap.
From there, Russell opened up a buffer comfortable enough to prevent Aitken from retaliating, while the race finished behind the Safety Car when Niko Kari crashed out of fourth at Lesmo 1.
In a race with some dubious collisions, chicane-cutting antics and questionable standards, Marcos Siebert picked up the pieces to take fourth, having been 20-seconds behind the ART pair when Kari crashed.
Ryan Tveter was fifth, ahead of Trident team-mate Giuliano Alesi, who kept Tatiana Calderón at bay during the closing laps.
Julien Falchero, Kevin Jörg and Bruno Baptista completed the top 10.
The 1-2-3 for ART also ensured the operation clinched the Teams' title for the seventh time in eight years.
1. George Russell - 162 points
2. Jack Aitken - 119 points
3. Nirei Fukuzumi - 99 points
The next round of the GP3 Series will take place at Jerez from October 6-8