Charles Leclerc has notched up victory in his maiden GP3 Series race at Circuit de Catalunya after grabbing the lead into the first turn before controlling the race in a dominant style.

The Ferrari junior academy driver bolted from third on the grid into the lead at turn one and despite early pressure from Jake Hughes he pulled out a handful of seconds and claimed a comfortable victory in the season opener.

The first race for the latest generation Dallara chassis, Leclerc's superb start from row two set him up for a dominant drive thereafter, managing the margin to pole sitter Hughes all the way to the chequered flag.

Indeed, in a race of scant action, the leading positions remained relatively static from their first lap order, with Hughes holding off Nirei Fukuzumi as rookies filled the podium.

Second year driver Antonio Fuoco followed up in fourth position, ahead of Kevin Joerg - who had a poor start from the front row to blame for his disappointing result - Alex Albon, Jake Dennis and Oscar Tunjo, the latter finishing eighth to secure pole position for the sprint race.

 

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