Formula 3 - Mixed fortunes for FDA drivers in Macau

17 Nov 2019

The Macau Grand Prix is famous for its unpredictability and unusual outcomes and that was definitely the case this weekend with the F3 racing round the street circuit, hitting speeds of 290 km/h. Robert Shwartzman had high hopes at the start of today’s final, starting from second on the grid. But the Russian ended up having a very short race. Immediately after the start he was battling in the lead group going into Mandarin corner when he was hit by Christian Lundgaard and that was it, game over, with a damaged front wing, parked in the escape road at Lisboa corner. “Things didn’t go to plan,” said Robert. “We did a great job over this long weekend and it was all in vain, thanks a little coming together just a few metres after the start. We know this sort of thing can happen in Macau, the toughest race in the world, so now we must look ahead and get ready for next season.”

Callum. Callum Ilott was the highest placed Ferrari Driver Academy driver, finishing sixth. “It wasn’t one of my best starts,” commented the Englishman. “That cost me a lot of time going into Lisboa. I was ninth but then managed to make up some places as I had a good race pace. We changed the set-up a lot after the qualification race and it was clearly better. Unfortunately, I lost some time during the Virtual Safety Car period, but in general the race went smoothly.”

Marcus. Marcus Armstrong crossed the finish line two places behind Callum, having done well to work his way up the order which saw him just grab eight place in the end, after the unfortunate outcome of the qualification race. “It’s a shame the weekend results did not live up to our expectations given that the potential to do better was clearly there. The weekend itself was practically perfect, the car was very good, so were the starts and the way we managed the tyres. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in qualifying and then I got stuck at the Lisboa corner in the first race. But that’s Macau. We were quick and proved that we could have been a frontrunner. We didn’t come away with any trophies, but we showed what was possible if we hadn’t experienced some unexpected difficulties.”

Enzo. Making your debut at Macau is never easy, let alone when you are also driving an F3 car for the very first time. So it was a big ask for Enzo Fittipalid, but the Brazilian improved with every session and sixteenth place only partly reflects what he and the team achieved. “My aim was to improve step by step over the weekend and I think I did just that,” said Enzo. “However the final result was affected by the qualifying incident caused by a car stuck on track which was not clearly indicated with the yellow flags. Clearly, from then on the weekend was a bit of a struggle, but I got a good start in the final and managed to move up to tenth. There really was a chance of finishing in the top ten, but after the Safety Car period, my rear tyres dropped off and I finished sixteenth.”

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