Felix da Costa storms to Qualifying Race victory

António Felix da Costa - Credit: Macau Grand Prix

Antonio Felix da Costa triumphed in the qualifying race around the streets of Macau after an excellent restart following an early safety car allowed him to pass Callum Ilott and assume the lead.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Ilott had taken the lead on the opening lap from second on the grid as polesitter George Russell dropped to fourth heading into Lisboa, with Carlin driver Felix da Costa moving into second and Sergio Sette Câmara into third, but the race was soon neutralised due to a number of incidents at Mandarin Bend.

Maximilian Günther, Anthoine Hubert and Lando Norris all hit the outside wall after finding a distinct lack of grip on cold tyres on the opening lap, but the biggest incident was to befall B-Max Racing team-mates Daiki Sasaki and Hong Li Ye, with the latter riding over the former as they attempted to avoid the debris on track.

Hubert, Norris and Ye were all out on the spot, with Günther retiring in the pits at the end of the lap, although Sasaki returned to the race when his team repaired his damaged car, albeit finishing two laps down on the race winner.

When the race got underway, Felix da Costa made his move into Lisboa after slipstreaming Ilott, and despite pressure from the Briton throughout the remainder of the race – the duo were the fastest on track and swapped fastest laps until the end – the Portuguese driver was able to see the chequered flag first, 0.850 seconds ahead of Ilott.

Sette Câmara made it two Carlin drivers in the top three, while Russell lost out for fourth to Kenta Yamashita of ThreeBond with T-Sport with just a few laps remaining as the Japanese racer passed the Hitech GP racer into Lisboa.

Two-time defending Macau Grand Prix winner Felix Rosenqvist was sixth for SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, the Swede finishing on the tail of Russell ahead of him, while Daniel Juncadella was seventh for Hitech GP after getting the better of Double R Racing duo Daniel Ticktum and Alexander Sims, who finished eighth and ninth respectively.

Jake Hughes completed the top ten for Carlin, but there was disappointment for Nick Cassidy, who was running seventh and on the tail of team-mate Rosenqvist before mechanical issues saw him drop to eleventh at the chequered flag, just ahead of Pedro Piquet, David Beckmann and Arjun Maini.

The main race gets away on Sunday, with Felix da Costa on pole position from Ilott, with Sette Câmara, Yamashita, Russell and Rosenqvist behind.

Macau Grand Prix Qualifying Race Result

129Antonio Felix da CostaPORCarlin27:07.011
220Callum IlottGBRVan Amersfoort Racing+0.850
327Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin+5.030
411Kenta YamashitaJAPThreeBond with T-Sport+5.797
58George RussellGBRHitech GP+7.351
61Felix RosenqvistSWESJM Theodore Racing by Prema+7.889
79Daniel JuncadellaESPHitech GP+10.136
831Daniel TicktumGBRDouble R Racing+17.416
930Alexander SimsGBRDouble R Racing+17.859
1028Jake HughesGBRCarlin+20.564
113Nick CassidyNZLSJM Theodore Racing by Prema+21.050
1222Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing+21.358
1323David BeckmannGERMucke Motorsport+21.607
1417Arjun MainiINDMotopark+21.996
1516Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark+24.194
1612Wing Chung ChangMACThreeBond with T-Sport+24.940
1733Ferdinand HabsburgAUTFortec Motorsport+26.006
1810Nikita MazepinRUSHitech GP+28.215
1919Tadasuke MakinoJAPToda Racing+31.905
205Jann MardenboroughGBRB-Max Racing Team+32.589
2115Sho TsuboiJAPTeam TOM's+33.073
2225Keyvan AndresGERMucke Motorsport+34.143
2332Sam MacLeodGBRFortec Motorsport+56.743
N/C6Daiki SasakiJAPB-Max Racing TeamNot Classified
N/C18Guanyu ZhouCHNMotoparkNot Classified
RET2Maximilian GuntherGERSJM Theodore Racing by PremaRetired
RET26Lando NorrisGBRCarlinRetired
RET21Anthoine HubertFRAVan Amersfoort RacingRetired
RET7Hongli YeCHNB-Max Racing TeamRetired