“Da Costa heads Rosenqvist in Macau F3 qualifying race”

Macau. © Creative Commons / Sentoan

Radio notes
Antonio Felix da Costa held Felix Rosenqvist at bay to claim victory in the Formula 3 qualification race at Macau this morning.

British Formula 3 race winner Alex Lynn took a solid 3rd place in his Mercedes-powered Fortec machine.

Starting from the front row, the Portuguese racer surged ahead of poleman Lynn {note 1} to assume a slim lead into Mandarin Bend, before asserting himself on the approach to the tight Lisboa corner.

Mücke Motorsport’s Rosenqvist also slid past Lynn upon the exit of Mandarin, setting up a ten-lap battle that saw the leading pair covered by one second.

Assured and confident in his Red Bull-backed Carlin Volkswagen machine, Da Costa rarely appeared to be overly pushed by Rosenqvist, ensuring stamped his authority on the race; however he was also well aware the big race is yet to come.
“Today was about bringing it home, tomorrow is the day that counts. Once I had the lead, I just tried to pull away a bit. But tomorrow counts and I’m happy.”

Rosenqvist closed in on occasion, but never in the right places on track, ensuring da Costa enjoyed a healthy lead when on the fast stuff from Fishermen’s to Lisboa.
With the 3rd place Lynn over three seconds in arrears, Rosenqvist elected to let the gap to da Costa open up to 1.5 seconds on the final tour, solidifying a front row start for tomorrow morning’s main event.

For Lynn {note 2}, it was a case of what might have been, although the 19-year-old should also be delighted with efforts so far this weekend. Beyond the opening pair of laps, Lynn was never threatened and indeed had something of a lonely race as each tour turned.

On the other hand, Carlos Sainz Jr had his hands full for much of the running. The Carlin man passed slow starting Daniel Juncadella through the opening turn; however the newly crowned F3 Euro Series champion was not giving in so easily.
After initially falling to 6th, Juncadella slid passed Harry Tincknell on the fourth lap and immediately switched attentions to his countryman in 4th place.

Through each tour, Juncadella pressed hard, although Sainz Jr defended with equal level of ferocity – the pairing came close to collecting eachother on the approach to Lisboa twice! As Sainz Jr and Juncadella diced, Tincknell and Pascal Wehrlein drew toward the Spanish pair, making it a four-way battle for 4th during the final three laps.
Each commitment to pass by Juncadella gave Tincknell an opportunity, yet he too was wary about the feisty Wehrlein. Come the chequered flag, the quartet lined up one after the other, with no move decisive enough to alter positions.

Hannes van Asseldonk ran well to claim 8th after starting outside the top ten. The Dutch racer started well, jumping to 9th spot following a solid start and eventually passing GP2 regular Felipe Nasr on the final lap.
For the Brazilian Nasr, it was not the best of days. The 2011 British F3 Champion dropped from 6th to 7th on the opening lap and could nothing to hold Wehrlein behind, with the latter overtaking Nasr on lap three.
From there on, Nasr’s Carlin machine looked a difficult prospect as he fought to guide the Volkswagen-powered Dallara around Macau’s ultra tight confines.

Alexander Sims rounded out the top ten after he enjoyed a topsy-turvy fight with Raffaele Marciello. The pair swapped positions several times through the ten lap sprint, with Sims making the final move of Marciello on lap eight.
Behind them, Jack Harvey could not crack the top ten. The new British F3 Champion had to settle for 12th place, less than two seconds shy of Marciello’s rear wing.

{note 1}
Alex Lynn took pole position following two crash-infested qualifying sessions on Thursday and Friday. The Fortec racer ran well during the first session, only to be bumped from provision pole to 4th by da Costa, Rosenqvist and Sainz Jr following a late red flag.
Lynn did not make the same mistake on Friday. Once again his best time came just a red flag came, only this time no one could pip Mercedes-powered driver. Da Costa took 2nd spot ahead of Juncadella, who raced under protest following a test that show irregularities with his fuel sample. Rosenqvist eventually claimed 4th, with Sainz Jr just behind.

{note 2}
Alex Lynn has signed for Prema Powerteam Motorsport in a move that will take him to the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2013. The Essex-born racer enjoyed an impressive début season in F3, with a run to 4th in the British championship that culminated in one victory and several podiums.

2012 Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix (Qualifying Race, 10 laps)
Pos  Driver                  Team/Car                       Time/Gap 
 1.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin Dallara-VW              22m31.290s 
 2.  Felix Rosenqvist        Mucke Dallara-Mercedes           + 1.559s 
 3.  Alex Lynn               Fortec Dallara-Mercedes          + 4.567s 
 4.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Carlin Dallara-VW                + 7.638s 
 5.  Daniel Juncadella       Prema Dallara-Mercedes           + 8.460s 
 6.  Harry Tincknell         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes         + 10.427s 
 7.  Pascal Wehrlein         Mucke Dallara-Mercedes          + 11.452s 
 8.  Hannes van Asseldonk    Prema Dallara-Mercedes          + 12.264s 
 9.  Felipe Nasr             Carlin Dallara-VW               + 13.243s 
10.  Alexander Sims          T-Sport Dallara-Nissan          + 14.439s 
11.  Raffaele Marciello      Prema Dallara-Mercedes          + 16.747s 
12.  Jack Harvey             Carlin Dallara-VW               + 18.291s 
13.  Pipo Derani             Fortec Dallara-Mercedes         + 21.565s 
14.  Will Buller             Carlin Dallara-VW               + 22.296s 
15.  Daniel Abt              Carlin Dallara-VW               + 24.338s 
16.  Hideki Yamauchi         B-Max Dallara-Toyota            + 24.778s 
17.  Jimmy Eriksson          Double R Dallara-Mercedes       + 30.092s 
18.  Tom Blomqvist           Euro International Dallara-VW   + 30.578s 
19.  Jazeman Jaafar          TOM'S Dallara-Toyota            + 32.945s 
20.  Mitchell Gilbert        Mucke Dallara-Mercedes          + 34.180s 
21.  Kevin Korjus            Double R Dallara-Mercedes       + 40.698s 
22.  Lucas Auer              Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW       + 42.149s 
23.  Luis Sa Silva           Angola Dallara-Mercedes         + 48.582s 
24.  Ryo Hirakawa            RSS Dallara-Toyota              + 49.825s 
25.  Dennis van de Laar      Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW       + 50.579s 
26.  Lucas Wolf              URD Dallara-Mercedes            + 50.829s 
     Sven Muller             Prema Dallara-Mercedes             8 laps
     Andrea Roda             Jo Zeller Dallara-Mercedes         8 laps 
     Felix Serralles         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes            6 laps 
     Yuichi Nakayama         TOM'S Dallara-Toyota               3 laps

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