Raffaele Marciello made good use of the second qualifying session for the F3 races in Macau, setting the fastest lap in the dying moments of the session.
The Italian was fairly anonymous throughout the first three sessions of the event, an eighth place in Free Practice 1 the best so far. But did the D88.com Prema Powerteam driver come alive when it mattered scoring a 2:11.555 to beat nearest challenger Felix Rosenqvist who starts second.
“I didn’t push at all in the first sessions, so I think I had a lot of margin,” Marciello said. “In qualifying I took a good slip stream and managed to do a good lap. It will be a difficult race, but I think we are consistent and we can do a good job tomorrow.
“I’m really proud. To be second, third or fourth is not a big deal here in qualifying, but for sure I’m proud, because it’s such a famous circuit.”
Last year’s pole sitter, Theodore Racing with Prema Powerteam‘s Alex Lynn, could only settle for third on the grid even after going 1.5 seconds faster than his F3 pole time in 2012.
Prema made it three cars in the top four as Lucas Auer recovered from his practice crash to put the second Theodore F3 car on to the second row of the grid.
The session wasn’t entirely without incident as Katsumasa Chiyo (B-Max Engineering), Sun Zheng (Galaxy Double R) and Antionio Giovinazzi (Double R) all decided to give the walls of the tight and twisty Macau circuit a special visit, meaning the red flag was brought out on three separate occasions.