Merhi on provisional pole but crashes at Macau
17 November 2011 – F3 Euro Series Champion Roberto Merhi has claimed provisional pole position for the legendary Macau Grand Prix qualifying race, only to crash after posting his quickest lap time. Practice pace-setter Marco Wittmann was bumped down to second place, with the top five completed by Felipe Nasr, Daniel Juncadella and Alexander Sims.
The rain did not stop for Thursday afternoon’s first qualifying session of the weekend, with Merhi posting a best effort of 2:28.860 for Prema. However, he proceeded to slam into the back of Felix Rosenqvist, leaving both cars out of action and down the escape road at the notorious Lisboa corner. The spot also claimed second-placed man Wittmann, who pushed too hard when trying to reduce the time gap to rapid Merhi.
British Formula 3 Champion Felipe Nasr made the top three and is the leading Carlin representative, with Alexander Sims completing the first five for TOM’s as the leading British driver. Further down the order was Estonian Marko Asmer, with the 2007 British F3 title winner posting a respectable time for 17th place.
It was a trying session for Valtteri Bottas, who had skipped first practice as he flew from Abu Dhabi, having tested the Williams Formula 1 car yesterday. The Finn naturally hopes for improved conditions as the action continues on Friday.
Pace-setter Merhi docked ten grid places
The second practice session starts at 11am local time (GMT +8) on Friday