Red Bull Junior Team

Red Bull Junior Team : GP3 Hungaroring, Félix da Costa takes brilliant Race 1 victory

António Félix da Costa celebrates Race 1 Hungaroring win Daniel Kalisz/LAT Photographic


António Félix da Costa made brilliant use of his 2nd place on the grid to storm past pole man Aaro Vainio and into the lead on the first of the 16 lap race. Even though the star of Hockenheim, Daniel Abt, made a similarly rocket like getaway and jumped from 5th to 2nd he could not hold on to the Red Bull Junior in his Carlin.

Points leader Mitch Evans had started 3rd but letting Abt get the better of him on that opening lap lost him any chance of chasing Félix da Costa because no matter what he tried he could not get in front of Abt.

In front the 20 year old Portuguese was charging and already had a gap of 1.5 seconds at the end of lap 1. Abt responded and cut 3 tenths off that on lap 2, chased hard by Evans. Vainio continued to struggle and dropped to 5th behind Ceccon and only just ahead of Daly and Laine.

Abt matched the leader's pace but was having to pay more attention to his mirrors as Evans was clearly looking for a way past on lap 4. The change of concentration was all that Félix da Costa needed as he added a few tenths to his advantage.

By the end of lap 5 the leading Carlin had a 1.5 second gap as Abt tried everything to keep Evans at bay, it seemed only a a matter of time before the New Zealand got through to 2nd and any cushion that Félix da Costa could build before he did would be very valuable. By the end of lap 6 it was 2.1 seconds.

Well in the groove and only with his eyes ahead Félix da Costa was clearly the fastest man on the track. By lap 6 he had the fastest lap at 1m 38.880.

Evans continued to harry Abt and Vainio seemed to have recovered from his early race problems to similarly pressure 4th placed Ceccon. An even quicker lap from the leader on lap 8 pushed his advantage out to 3 seconds and Abt was forced to concentrate everything on what was going on behind.  Evans might even have had pace in hand but he had no chance to show it, even when Abt nearly lost control he still managed to keep ahead of the Kiwi.

Lap 11 produced yet another fastest lap from Félix da Costa, 1m 38.028, and the gap grew to 4.5 seconds. Ceccon and Vainio continued their private battle for 4th, just 2.5 seconds behind Evans who remained glued to Abt's tail.

Félix da Costa could have eased the pace but he was enjoying himself and yet another quick lap on his 15th tour took the pace to 1m 37.889, over a second quicker than his pursuers. That was just showing off though and he did ease up on the final lap, coasting home still with a 4.4 second margin over Abt, Evans, Ceccon and Vainio.




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