LEO’S WIN, ANTHOINE’S TITLE

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  • ART do the double at Yas Marina Circuit

Frenchman Anthoine Hubert earned his place in the motor racing record books at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday when he claimed the final title in the history of GP3 racing for ART Grand Prix.

With the teams’ championship already in the locker, Hubert, 22, went into the 18-lap feature race with a 28-point lead over nearest rival – and teammate – Nikita Mazepin.

The 19-year-old Russian started from pole position but saw his faint title hopes evaporate when he received a 10-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Ironically, Mazepin had become the victim of his own pre-race prophecy.

‘It gets to the time when the tunnel gets smaller,’ three-time race-winner Mazepin said ahead of the Abu Dhabi showdown, ‘and you can’t really afford any mistakes.’

While Leonardo Pulcini took his second win of the season for Campos Racing, third place behind Trident’s David Beckmann was more than enough for Hubert to become the eighth and final GP3 title-winner when Mazepin’s penalty relegated him to fifth.

Hubert now has 214 points with Mazepin, who earned two for the fastest race lap, on 183 – a 31-point margin with a maximum of 15 on offer in Sunday’s 14-lap sprint race.

When Hubert returned to pit lane he was greeted by compatriot Alain Prost, the four-time Formula 1® World Champion in whose tracks he will be hoping to follow – with history on his side.

This is the fourth straight title for an ART driver, and the last three champions – Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc and George Russell – have all been in action on track at Yas Marina Circuit in Formula 1® this weekend.

GP3 is replaced for next season by the new FIA F3 series, whose new car was unveiled at Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday evening.

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