Alex Lynn claimed the Macau F3 Grand Prix qualifying race in superb style this morning, with the Prema Powerteam racer winning by 2.4s from Felix Rosenqvist.
It a masterful display from the Englishman that saw him make a fabulous start to grab 2nd just behind the early leading Rosenqvist, before sweeping past the Swede following the race’s sole safety car period.
From there, Lynn built a gap of 2.7s by the eighth tour, while Rosenqvist, Marciello and 2012 Macau F3 GP winner Antonio Felix da Costa battled it out for the runner-up spot.
Despite this early success, Lynn kept his delight in check, knowing the big race is not until tomorrow. “In terms of the qualification race this is nice, but the Grand Prix itself is another thing. The main positive is that the car felt really nice. I made a good start, and my restart was good as well.” He then added: “I’ve been reminded all week by my engineer that Sunday is the goal, and the rest of the week is just the journey. But it feels great ¬ now I’ve won a race around Macau!”
A bad start from Marciello dropped the Italian from pole to 5th, although that easily became 4th when Lucas Auer took himself out of contention by crashing at San Francisco Bend on lap three. From there, Marciello hounded da Costa for a podium spot and eventually swept by the Portuguese racer with a somewhat risky move into the tight Lisboa bend at the half way point.
Despite some not insignificant pressure, Marciello was powerless against the 2nd place Rosenqvist, while at the same time; the Swede could do nothing about the leading Lynn.
Pipo Derani took 5th following a somewhat lonely race in the highest finishing Fortec. Although some 3.6s adrift of da Costa, the Brazilian Derani was still a 3.0s clear of next man Alexander Sims (T-Sport)
Sims had taken 6th from Carlin’s Jordan King (7th) after the safety car period, but could not shake the British F3 champion thereafter, while the feisty Will Buller (Fortec) clung to their coattails.
Carlos Sainz Jr could do nothing to progress further than 9th, while Esteban Ocon swept by Stefano Coletti with three laps remaining to complete the top ten.
As noted, the Macau opener was not free from some sort of destruction. On the grid, Tom Blomqvist was hit from behind by Harry Tincknell, while Dennis van de Laar appeared to stall – these incidents brought out the safety car until the beginning of lap three.
Ed Jones also crashed out at the R-Bend, while Nelson Mason ignored a drive through penalty, eventually resulting in a black flag – not something the Macau stewards will appreciate in the slightest.
2013 Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix (Qualification Race; 10 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 24m41.968s 2. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc +2.411s 3. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc +3.461s 4. Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin Dallara-VW +4.089s 5. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc +7.620s 6. Alexander Sims T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +10.620s 7. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW +10.958s 8. Will Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc +11.691s 9. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW +13.045s 10. Esteban Ocon Prema Dallara-Merc +14.713s 11. Stefano Coletti Eurointernational Dallara-Merc +15.853s 12. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW +17.068s 13. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW +30.339s 14. Yuhi Sekiguchi Mucke Dallara-Merc +30.990s 15. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc +34.049s 16. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Mercedes +35.563s 17. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc +36.620s 18. Yuichi Nakayama TOM'S Dallara-Toyota +38.920s 19. Katsumasa Chiyo B-Max Dallara-Toyota +40.040s 20. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Merc +40.503s 21. Sun Zheng Double R Dallara-Merc +1m06.786s 22. Nelson Mason Zeller Dallara-Merc +1m11.265s 23. Kevin Korjus Double R Dallara-Merc +1 lap Retirements: Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc +7 laps Ed Jones Fortec Dallara-Merc +7 laps Tom Blomqvist Fortec Dallara-Merc +10 laps Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW +10 laps Dennis van de Laar Mucke Dallara-Merc +10 laps