The GP3 Series was highly competitive again in 2017, with a total of nine different race winners from 15 races.
Six of these drivers won just one race, and of those to win more, champion George Russell had the most victories with four. The Briton won race one at exactly half of the rounds, frequently getting the most from the tyres in the longer race of the weekend.
Two of Russell’s wins came on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre (at the Red Bull Ring and Monza), one was on the P Zero Orange hard tyre (Silverstone) and one on the P Zero White medium (Spa-Francorchamps).
While his wins came in the first races of the weekend, he also showed his speed and tyre management skills in the reversed-grid races, where he set the fastest lap on four occasions (Barcelona, Silverstone, Spa and Jerez). With the addition of race one at Spa, he achieved five fastest laps, more than anybody else.
ART Grand Prix claimed pole position at all eight rounds, and hasn’t been beaten in qualifying since Barcelona in May 2016. Russell set half of its poles this year, including the season’s one qualifying session held on wet tyres at Spa. In the dry race one on the medium tyres he converted that into the biggest win of 2017, with an advantage of 7.46 seconds.
The Mercedes junior driver was also responsible for both the smallest pole position margin of 0.072 seconds at the Red Bull Ring and the largest: 0.322s at Yas Marina.
In Abu Dhabi, Russell was celebrating pole position just 70 minutes after he finished in 11th place in Formula 1 practice with Force India, and at the end of the weekend he received both his championship trophy and a cheque from Pirelli for 200,000 euros to use towards a drive in Formula 2 in 2018.
Giuliano Alesi had the second highest number of wins with three, which came in race two at three consecutive rounds, with the son of former F1 favourite Jean showing great tyre management on both the hard and medium compounds. He had to do it under pressure too: his victory at the Hungaroring came with the smallest margin of the season, 0.62 seconds over Trident team-mate Ryan Tveter.
Trident was one of two teams (along with ART) to score points in every race, with Jenzer Motorsport close to joining them but missing out in Monza race one. Five of the six teams won races, and they all visited the podium thanks to the efforts of Dan Ticktum in the final race in Abu Dhabi for DAMS, where the Red Bull Junior Team member showed both great racing skills and strong tyre management.