On lap 14, rival Jack Aitken retired from the race with car gremlins, promoting Pulcini into 2nd position. Unable to close the gap on the leader, Pulcini was occupied with rival Allessio Lorandi all over the rear wing of his countryman for the closing laps. His challenge however came to no avail: Pulcini was impervious to attack and punched the air as he crossed the line in P2.
Teammates Niko Kari and Steijn Schothorst endured a more difficult time. Kari qualified 11th on the grid, but he was penalised after he failed to stop for weighing. As a
consequence the Finnish driver would start from the pitlane for Race 1. Having to start from the back of the pack on the notoriously difficult circuit to overtake on, Kari's true potential was unable to be released as he finished 15th.
Schothorst would start 12th on the grid after his teammates penalty, however an incident in the race would scupper the Dutchman's challenge as he was knocked to the back of the pack, recovering to finish in 18th position.
Leonardo Pulcini: "I’m very happy with today’s result. It’s my first race in GP3 and we showed that we’re already quite
competitive. I was trying to manage my tyres, but I still had to push a bit more than I would have liked to try and maintain the gap with the ART boys. But, I thought the tyre degradation was going to be higher than it was. When I saw Jack had a problem, I was bit calmer. I knew then that I was going to be on the podium for sure. It was a very hard race for me because I never the DRS. As we compare my laptimes with Nirei’s you can see that we were very competitive. I’m very happy with P2. I would like to thank Arden: they did an amazing job."
The next round of the GP3 Series takes place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria in around 6 weeks time. In between this gap, the GP3 team will be attending a further test at Budapest, Hungary - where more crucial work will be done to ensure of more podiums in the coming rounds.