Felix Rosenqvist held of the spirited challenge of Charles Leclerc to secure his second consecutive Macau Grand Prix victory and to round off an amazing year for the Swedish driver.
Rosenqvist and Leclerc battled hard for the win, with the two trading places a number of times, before the SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam driver secured the victory to add to his FIA European Formula 3 Championship win.
With his victory, Rosenqvist becomes only the second driver after Edoardo Mortara to take back-to-back victories in Macau, but the Swede did not have the race all his own way.
Van Amersfoort Racing’s Leclerc stole the lead away from Rosenqvist on the opening lap heading into Lisboa, before the two switched places twice at the start of the second lap, only to have the race red-flagged with debris and race cars stricken across the track at Fishermen’s Bend.
Gustavo Menezes, Ryan Tveter and Mitsunori Takaboshi were all out on the spot, while Yu Kanamaru was able to head to the pits for repairs.
Leclerc took the restart in the lead, but found himself relegated to third as they turned into Lisboa, with Rosenqvist and Sam MacLeod of Team West-Tec F3 finding their way passed. MacLeod delayed Leclerc enough to allow Rosenqvist to build a gap of over 2.5 seconds.
Leclerc eventually found a way passed MacLeod, again at Lisboa, on the seventh lap, and tried his hardest to close the gap back to Rosenqvist, but ultimately was forced to settle for second, finishing just 1.168s back.
Unfortunately for MacLeod, a podium finish was not forthcoming, as a puncture after a brush against the wall at Police saw him head to the pits, which promoted Alexander Sims onto the podium for Double R Racing.
Antonio Giovinazzi drove a superb race to climb from tenth on the grid to finish fourth for Carlin, less than a second away from the podium places, which was a great recovery following his qualification race penalty.
Markus Pommer secured fifth for Motopark, having disposed of team-mate Sergio Sette Camara early on, but the Brazilian was also out of luck after also acquiring a puncture that forced him to pit. The only positive from the day for Sette Camara is that the Brazilian now holds the fastest lap record around the streets of Macau.
Santino Ferrucci took sixth for Mücke Motorsport ahead of Alessio Lorandi, who impressed again for Van Amersfoort Racing, with the Italian teenager holding off the challenge of Prema Powerteam’s Lance Stroll.
Jake Dennis finished ninth in the third Prema car, while Arjun Maini rounded out the top ten for ThreeBond with T-Sport.
Macau Grand Prix Race Result
[table id=780 /]