Tio Ellinas took the final victory in the final GP3 race of the season in Abu Dhabi
Dean Stoneman finishes second, Conor Daly completes podium
By William Esler
Last Updated: 03/11/13 4:49pm
Tio Ellinas finished the GP3 season as he started it - stood atop the podium after a controlled victory in Abu Dhabi.
The Cypriot led the Drivers' Championship for a large part of the year, but a catastrophic run following his Marussia F1 test at the Silverstone Young Driver Test saw him score just four points in six races and he slipped as low as sixth in the standings at one point. The Cypriot was clearly emotional on the podium as a tear came to his eye during the national anthem.
"It feels great to finish the season like this," Ellinas said in the post-presentation interviews.
"The first half of the season everything was going well - we started the season very well - but then two unlucky moments in Spa and at Monza cost me the Championship from P1 and P3. But it was great to finish the year like that.
"We had a problem in Hungary and again here in qualy, but we managed to fix the car and that is thanks to the team who have done a great job all year fixing my car. I want to thank all the people that have supported me, my family - it has been amazing."
Less than three tenths separated him at the line from Dean Stoneman to round off a fantastic weekend for the British driver. The 23-year-old was making his return to single-seaters after three years away having been diagnosed with testicular cancer, but showed no signs of rustiness as he pressured Ellinas throughout the 14 laps.
Conor Daly completed the podium - his sixth of the season - but he was made to work for it by team-mate Jack Harvey, who in turn was being pressurised by Daniil Kvyat. Having dominated at the front on Saturday, the young Russian proved he could fight in the pack as well as he worked his way up to fifth in the opening laps with a number of clean passes made with millimetre precession.
Championship runner-up Facu Regalia was being far from precise, however, and a scruffy race - in which he cut the chicanes several times and made contact with other competitors - saw him finish down in 16th spot.
GP3 Abu Dhabi - Race Two
1) Tio Ellinas (CYP) - Marussia Manor Racing - +27:59.709
2) Dean Stoneman (GBR) - Koiranen GP - +0.293
3) Conor Daly (USA) - ART Grand Prix - +0.774
4) Jack Harvey (GBR) - ART Grand Prix - +1.231
5) Daniil Kvyat (RUS) - MW Arden - +1.865
6) Nick Yelloly (GBR) - Carlin - +5.507
7) Alexander Sims (GBR) - Carlin - +7.964
8) Dino Zamparaelli (GBR) - Marussia Manor Racing - +16.528
9) Giovanni Venturini (ITA) - Trident - +16.726
10) Alex Fontana (SUI) - Jenzer Motorsport - +17.149
13) Robert Cregan (IRL) - Tident - +22.332
16) Facu Regalia (ARG) - ART Grand Prix - +24.575
18) Carlos Sainz (ESP) - MW Arden - +27.365
20) Alice Powell (GBR) - Bamboo Engineering - +36.238
22) Josh Webster (GBR) - Status Grand Prix - +44.113
25) Ryna Cullen (GBR) - Marussia Manor Racing - +1:09.299
1) Daniil Kvyat - 168
2) Facu Regalia - 138
3) Conor Daly - 126
4) Tio Ellinas - 116
5) Jack Harvey - 114
6) Nick Yelloly - 107
7) Kevin Korjus - 107
8) Alexander Sims - 77
9) Aaro Vainio - 75
10) Carlos Sainz - 66