By Nemanja Bjedov
TIO Ellinas started the GP3 season with a win and he ended it in the same manner in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
After making a great start from second on the grid, the Cypriot stormed into the lead and took the chequered flag ahead of Briton Dean Stoneman and American Conor Daly at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“I always win the last race of the season! Yes I made a good start today, I went into first and I was trying to go as quick as possible at the beginning,” said the Marussia Manor Racing star.
“I built up a three second lead but in the last five laps I was trying to push all the time but my front tires weren’t there and I was struggling with under-steer which I was trying to sort out.
“Our tires were good at the start but they didn’t last. But it was a good result for me,” Ellinas added.
Spain’s Patrick Kujala started from pole, but it was Ellinas who made the better getaway to take the lead. Kujala eventually finished in fourth place, while newly-crowned GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat of Russia ended the race in seventh place as he attempted to carve his way through the field.
“It was really only the last lap where he got really close to me. I was making sure I made the perfect exits so not to give any opportunity as I really didn’t want to end the championship without this win,” the 21-year-old Cypriot added.
“We had such a strong first half of the season, but then in Spa and Monza bad luck dropped us back. It was a good way to end the championship with this victory and now we will see what the future brings us.”
The Larnaca native, who had his ups and downs throughout the year, finished the 2013 GP3 Series season in fourth place with 116 points, 52 points behind champion Kvyat.
He will stay in Dubai to test himself in GP2 as there is a possibility that he may compete at that level next season.
“I think we could have been quicker in Budapest this year, we have always struggled there in both years I raced there with the team.
“We also struggled around Abu Dhabi at the start of the weekend. But we changed a lot of things on the car and it did make it a lot better.
“I can’t do anything about it now, that’s the result and I’m fourth in the championship. I hope I will test in GP2 next week for two days so maybe there is a chance I could step up to GP2 next season, we will see what happens,” Ellinas concluded.
By Nemanja Bjedov