2010 GP3 Series

2010 GP3 Series

The 2010 GP3 Series season was the first season of the GP3 Series, a feeder series for the GP2 Series. The championship was contested over sixteen races held at eight rounds, beginning on 8 May at Circuit de Catalunya and ending on 12 September at Autodromo Nazionale Monza.[1] Ten teams were announced, running three cars each.

The inaugural title was claimed by ART Grand Prix driver Esteban Gutiérrez, having taken the final pole position of the season at Monza to put him out of reach of title rival Robert Wickens.[2] Gutiérrez took five race wins during the season, four of which coming in the higher points-rewarding races held on Saturdays. He also took four further podium finishes en route to a 17-point championship win over Wickens. Wickens eventually ended the season with three victories at Hockenheim, Spa-Francorchamps – despite spinning in wet conditions and damaging the nose of his Status Grand Prix car against the pit wall[3] – and Monza, as well as four second place finishes, two of which being behind Gutiérrez.

Nico Müller finished in third position for Jenzer Motorsport, taking victories in Valencia and at the Hungaroring. He finished 15 points clear of Gutiérrez's team-mate Alexander Rossi, who took wins from pole position in the sprint races in Barcelona and at the Hungaroring. Rio Haryanto was fifth for Manor Racing, winning in Istanbul from a reverse-grid pole position. Other victories were taken by Status Grand Prix's Daniel Morad at Silverstone, Pål Varhaug won the season-opening race in Barcelona and Adrien Tambay won from 27th on the grid at Spa in a wet/dry race.[4] ART Grand Prix also claimed the teams' championship, having done so at Spa-Francorchamps, finishing 44 points clear of nearest challengers Status Grand Prix, while Jenzer Motorsport finished in third position ahead of Manor Racing.

Teams and drivers

  • For the first two tests of the season, teams were given numbers in relation to alphabetical order. Thus, Addax were given 1, 2 and 3, with ART receiving 4, 5 and 6, and so forth. However, a "qualifying" session was held at Circuit Paul Ricard on 1 April 2010, where Alexander Rossi ended quickest. With this, ART ran cars 1, 2 and 3 during the season.[5]
Team No Driver Rounds
France ART Grand Prix[6] 1 United States Alexander Rossi[7] All
2 Mexico Esteban Gutiérrez[7] All
3 Brazil Pedro Nunes[7] All
Republic of Ireland Status Grand Prix[6] 4 Canada Robert Wickens[8] All
5 Russia Ivan Lukashevich[9] All
6 Canada Daniel Morad[10] All
United Kingdom Marussia Manor Racing[6] 7 United Kingdom James Jakes[11] 1–5, 8
France Adrien Tambay[12] 6–7
8 Indonesia Rio Haryanto[13] All
9 United Kingdom Adrian Quaife-Hobbs[10] All
Germany RSC Mücke Motorsport[14] 10 Netherlands Nigel Melker[14] All
11 Netherlands Renger van der Zande[15] All
12 Germany Tobias Hegewald[16] All
United Kingdom Carlin[17] 14 United States Josef Newgarden[18] All
15 United Kingdom Dean Smith[19] All
16 Brazil Lucas Foresti[20] 1, 3–5, 8
Russia Mikhail Aleshin[21] 2
Portugal António Félix da Costa[22] 6–7
Spain Addax Team[6] 17 Brazil Felipe Guimarães[23] All
18 Mexico Pablo Sánchez López[24] All
19 Italy Mirko Bortolotti[25] All
Australia MW Arden[6] 20 Denmark Michael Christensen[26] All
21 Spain Miki Monrás[27] All
22 Brazil Leonardo Cordeiro[28] All
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport[6] 23 Norway Pål Varhaug[24] All
24 Switzerland Simon Trummer[29] 1–5, 7–8
Spain Marco Barba[30] 6
25 Switzerland Nico Müller[31] All
France Tech 1 Racing[6] 26 Romania Doru Sechelariu[32] All
27 Spain Daniel Juncadella[33] 1
Monaco Stefano Coletti[34] 2–8
28 France Jean-Éric Vergne[10] 1, 3
France Jim Pla[34] 2
Spain Daniel Juncadella[35] 4–5, 7–8
United Kingdom ATECH CRS GP[36] 29 Italy Patrick Reiterer[10] 1–2
Spain Roberto Merhi[37] 3–8
30 United Kingdom Oliver Oakes[38] All
31 Italy Vittorio Ghirelli[10] All

ART Grand Prix signed Esteban Gutiérrez, who drove for the team in the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series. He was joined by Pedro Nunes, who drove in the same series for Manor Motorsport, and former ISR Racing International Formula Master driver Alexander Rossi.

After missing the 2009 racing season, Ivan Lukashevich drove for the Status Grand Prix team. He was joined by the Canadian pairing of Formula Two runner-up Robert Wickens and former Formula BMW USA champion Daniel Morad, who did not have a drive in 2009.

After a podium in the 2009–10 GP2 Asia Series in Abu Dhabi, James Jakes joined Manor Racing. He was joined by Rio Haryanto, the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific champion, and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who abandoned his campaign in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Jakes was injured at Hockenheim and was replaced by Auto GP driver Adrien Tambay in Hungary and Belgium. Jakes returned for the season finale at Monza.

Nigel Melker, who drove for MP Motorsport in the 2009 Formula Renault Eurocup signed to drive for RSC Mücke Motorsport. Melker was joined by Renger van der Zande, who finished third in the 2009 British Formula 3 Championship. The third driver at the team was Tobias Hegewald, who moves from Formula Two.

Carlin signed British Formula Renault champion Dean Smith and British Formula Ford runner-up Josef Newgarden to drive full-time for the team. Lucas Foresti, one of the team's current British Formula 3 drivers raced for the team in selected rounds of the series. Foresti missed the Turkish round due to prior British Formula 3 commitments, and was replaced by one of the team's Formula Renault 3.5 drivers, Mikhail Aleshin. Foresti returned for the rounds from Valencia onwards, but would miss the rounds in Hungary and Belgium due to British Formula 3 racing at Spa and Snetterton. Formula 3 Euro Series driver António Félix da Costa stepped in to replace Foresti in Hungary and Belgium.

Pablo Sánchez López stepped up from Italian Formula Three to compete for the Addax Team. Mirko Bortolotti moved across from Formula Two to partner Sánchez López, while Felipe Guimarães completed the team, having contested selected races in Indy Lights.

Michael Christensen, who raced in the 2009 Formula BMW Europe season for Mücke Motorsport, joined MW Arden. Christensen was joined by Miki Monrás, who was fifth in the Formula Renault Eurocup, and Leonardo Cordeiro, the 2009 Formula Three Sudamericana champion.

Simon Trummer, who raced in 2009 in International Formula Master driver for Iris Project, joined Jenzer Motorsport. He was joined by Pål Varhaug, who raced for Jenzer in Formula Master in 2009, and Nico Müller, who raced for Jenzer in the Formula Renault Eurocup and was champion in the Swiss Formula Renault 2.0 series. Trummer was injured at Hockenheim and was replaced by European F3 Open championship leader Marco Barba in Hungary. Trummer returned at Spa.

Doru Sechelariu, 2009 Formula BMW Europe driver for Eifelland Racing drove for Tech 1 Racing. He was joined in Barcelona by two drivers who were dovetailing GP3 commitments with other series. Daniel Juncadella contested the first round at Barcelona, but his main focus was a campaign in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Stefano Coletti combined his Formula Renault 3.5 programme with his GP3 commitments, replacing Juncadella from Turkey onwards. Jean-Éric Vergne's main focus was to win the British Formula 3 Championship, and with Vergne racing at Hockenheim in British Formula 3, he was replaced by ART Grand Prix Formula 3 Euro Series driver Jim Pla in Turkey. Vergne returned for Valencia, but was replaced by Juncadella for Silverstone, as he signed a deal to complete the season in GP3, as well as Euro Series commitments. With Juncadella missing the round in Hungary due to a guest drive in British Formula 3 at Spa, Tech 1 had wished to field their Eurocup Formula Renault driver Arthur Pic at the meeting. However, they fielded just two cars, as they have used up their allotment of five drivers for the season, and did not receive total approval from the other teams for Pic to drive. Juncadella returned at Spa.

Atech CRS GP signed Formula Master graduate Patrick Reiterer and former British Formula 3 racer Oliver Oakes to drive two of their cars. The third was driven by Vittorio Ghirelli, after he stepped down from Team Ghinzani in Italian Formula Three. Reiterer was replaced for the round in Valencia by Formula 3 Euro Series racer Roberto Merhi.