This page contains archived information and may not display perfectly

Felix Rosenqvist sets the pace in Macau

It’s all action in Macau and already the drivers are going pedal to the metal to beat the stopwatch! Felix Rosenqvist has set provisional pole from Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims.
The 28 drivers battling for the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup in Macau took advantage of the first free session followed by qualifying to rack up the laps on this very particular circuit. Many drivers fell foul of the numerous traps and in the first session Carlos Sainz Jr (Carlin), Felix Rosenqvist (GR Asia with Mücke), Jordan King (Carlin), Lucas Wolf (URD Rennsport) and Stefano Coletti (Eurointernational) all made contact with the guardrail.
The Macau circuit poses many challenges for the drivers. “I’ve never raced in Pau or Monaco, but for me Macau is the most difficult circuit in the world,” admitted Alexander Sims (Three Bond with T-Sport). “It’s a track on which you can’t make the slightest error,” explained Antonio Felix da Costa (Carlin). “You must respect it and build up the pace step by step.”
While in the free session Alex Lynn (Theodore Racing by Prema) set the quickest time, his team-mate Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) was having his first outing on the track on what was his first time driving an F3 at this level. “To be honest the first laps were pretty special,” analysed the Lotus Junior Team driver. “You build up your confidence by driving and I kept on improving. I hit the wall in qualifying as I got caught out after dirtying my tyres by going too wide, and in the next corner I lost the back of the car. Exactly the same mistake as Felix Rosenqvist made in the free session. I still haven’t fully got to grips with either the track or the car, but if we keep on improving lap after lap then I think we can put on a good show.”
Rosenqvist quickly put his problems in the free session behind him and set the fastest time in qualifying in 2.12.751. “I did my best lap without any slipstreaming when I was alone on the track,” explained the Swedish driver. “There’ll be more grip tomorrow. I’m also going to analyse the two or three places where I can still improve even though I feel really at home in the second sector. My time today should ensure that I’ll have a place in the top ten, but for sure it’s going to be a whole lot quicker tomorrow.” 
Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims rounded out the provisional top 3. “I needed a little time to get to grips with an F3 again,” said the Portuguese driver, winner of the 2012 Macau Grand Prix. “It’s a top-class field so it’s good to be on the pace even though I tackled today as if it was two free sessions. We’re all going to make a big improvement tomorrow.” 
There will be another free session tomorrow morning (Friday) and then the second qualifying session in the middle of the afternoon. “I was the quickest this morning and then I went off this afternoon: that’s typical Macau. I’ll have to be among the front-runners tomorrow in qualifying,” summed up Alex Lynn. “You have to really go for it in the last twenty minutes of qualifying tomorrow and above all on Sunday. Everything changes very quickly in Macau,” told him Edoardo Motara, the only driver to date who has won the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix twice!