Macau Grand Prix 2019: The Story so far

by Harry Slade
Marcus Armstrong

The 66th annual running of the prestigous Macau Grand Prix has seen the new-generation of FIA Formula 3 cars tackle the legendary Guia circuit as lap records tumbled from the outset.

Practice One

Marcus Armstrong set record-breaking pace for Prema Theodore Racing in the opening session for this years Macau Grand Prix.

The Kiwi set an unofficial lap record of the Guia Circuit of 2m08.023s – a lap time over two seconds quicker than last years Pole Position time.

British duo Jake Hughes and Dan Ticktum rounded out the top three, with the latter showing signs of his top form as he returned to F3 machinery.

Callum Illot impressed in his first official session in Formula 3 machinery as he placed his Sauber Junior team by Charouz team a strong sixth.

Honda Junior Yuki Tsunoda clashed with the wall at the hospital bed as the Japanese starlet became the first driver to fall victim of the ever-looming walls in Macau.

Qualifying One

Credit: Fia Formula 3

Hughes continued his strong Macau form, taking provisional pole for HWA.

The Brit set yet another lap record, with a lap-time of 2m06.793s leaving the field in his wake.

David Beckmann seemingly highlighted his return to form at Trident as he went second quickest – banishing the demons of his troubled season at ART.

Juri Vips brought his Macau credentials to the forefront with a superb lap to go thied fastest.

The Estonian was the session’s early pace-setter only to be usurped late on by Hughes and Beckmann.

Armstrong continued his practice form by going form as the lead Prema.

However, the Italian marque struggled due to a variety of yellow flags, causing reigning F3 champion Robert Schwartzman and newcomer Frederik Vesti to languish down at the tailend of the top ten.

Their day was contrasted by Carlin‘s as Logan Sargeant led two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Ticktum as the British squad ran fifth and sixth as their form looked rejuvinated following a poor F3 campaign.

Enaam Ahmed and Max Fewtrell were both victims of Macau’s infamously unforgiving barriers in the session.

Meanwhile, Oli Caldwell stopped on track due to mechanical problems.

Practice Two

Credit: Fia Formula 3

Juri Vips topped a truncated final practice session for the Macau Grand Prix, as Ticktum and Beckmann collided bringing out the red flag.

The Estonian hit the front with ten minutes to go, only for Ticktum’s incident into Police Corner to end chance of change at the top.

Callum Illot continued his superb F3 acclimatisation in second, just ahead of former Red Bull junior Richard Verschoor.

New Zealanders Armstrong and Liam Lawson rounded out the top five, while Ticktum salvaged sixth in spite of a crash in which many would suggest showed his impetuous nature.

Ferdinand Habsburg also brough out a red flag as the Austrian crashed at Lisboa earlier in the session.

Qualifying Two

Vips took a dominant pole for the 66th Macau Grand Prix, setting the fastest ever lap around the legendary circuit.

The Hitech star set a time of 2m04.997s to secure a memorable pole position.

Vips’ success was failure for Schwartzman, as the reigning champion was denied by almost four tenths by his title-rival.

Behind them, Macau rewturnee Callum Illot was a superb third, ahead of top rookie Christian Lundgaard – with the Dane salvaging an otherwise mediocre Macau weekend for the ART squad.

He was just ahead of fellow rookie Verschoor, as practice pacesetter Hughes rounded out the top six.

Formula Regional champion Vesti was a superb seventh, ahead of the impressive Yuki Tsunoda in eighth.

The hardluck stoy of the weekend was Armstrong.

The Kiwi arguably possessed the pace for a famous pole, only for a crash at Police Corner to scupper his chances and leave him a dissappointing ninth.

Finally, Sargeant rounded out the top ten, while reigning Macau winner Ticktum recovered to thirteenth following his crash in practice.

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