Antonio Felix da Costa continued his remarkable form of late to top first qualifying at the end of Thursday’s running at the Macau Grand Prix.
The Portuguese driver was third quickest in the opening practice session behind Felipe Nasr and Felix Rosenqvist, as Carlin‘s six-man super-team filled four of the top five places. As well as F3 returnees Nasr and Felix da Costa, the team had Carlos Sainz and Will Buller fourth and fifth.
A late lap at the end of the day’s qualifying session saw Felix da Costa go 0.02s faster than second-placed Rosenqvist to land provisional pole, with a second qualifying session to be held on Friday.
Rosenqvist edged out the second Red Bull Junior in the race Sainz by just one thousandth of a second. Alex Lynn was three tenths adrift in fourth place for Fortec Motorsport at the end of his first ever day of driving in Macau, with defending champion and pre-event favourite Daniel Juncadella fifth for Prema Powerteam.
Nasr finished up sixth, just ahead of Alexander Sims in the Nissan-powered T-Sport car. Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello was eighth with fellow newcomers Felix Serralles and Pascal Wehrlein completing the top ten. Daniel Abt finished up 11th for Carlin ahead of Tom Blomqvist on the Eurointernational team’s first day of competition with the Dallara F312 chassis, the squad having campaigned the older F308 with Blomqvist in German F3 this year.
Fortec’s Pipo Derani was 13th and Hannes van Asseldonk 14th for Prema. Buller was 15th for Carlin, while Carlin refugees Harry Tincknell and Jazeman Jaafar were 16th and 17th having switched to Fortec and TOM’S respectively for this event. They were both ahead of Carlin’s British F3 champion Jack Harvey, who struggled to 18th with steering difficulties. Sven Muller was 19th for Prema ahead of the Double R duo of Kevin Korjus and Jimmy Eriksson, Japanese driver Hideki Yamauchi and German series competitors Mitchell Gilbert and Lucas Auer, the latter clipping the unforgiving barriers together with Van Amersfoort Racing teammate Dennis van de Laar, who finished up 29th and last of those to set a time. Lucas Wolf, Yuichi Nakayama and Luis Sa Silva were 25th, 26th and 27th, while Andrea Roda was 28th after crashing and bringing out the red flags with six minutes remaining.