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Marco Wittmann claimed victory in the crucial qualifying race for tomorrow’s Macau Grand Prix, converting his impressive pole position into success at the challenging venue. The German F3 Euro Series star led home Brazil’s Felipe Nasr, with Roberto Merhi completing a brilliant recovery to complete the top three from eighth on the grid.
A strong getaway from Signature’s Wittmann ensured that his lead remained intact at the first corner, with fellow front row starter António Félix da Costa enduring a gear failure. This allowed Nasr to move into second place, but the Carlin pilot couldn’t quite find the speed to overhaul Wittmann for the win. Behind, Merhi moved up to third place by the second lap, before applying pressure on Nasr.
The following battle ultimately fell in Nasr’s favour, with the reigning British F3 Champion defending well when required. Wittmann’s winning margin may have been less than a second, but he has put himself in the optimum position for the full race on Sunday. Behind the top three, Valtteri Bottas completed a strong drive to keep his win hopes alive, with Carlos Huertas the last of the top five finishers.
Prema Powerteam driver Daniel Juncadella and Belgian Laurens Vanthoor were next up in seventh and eighth respectively, the latter narrowly leading home his Signature team-mate Daniel Abt. Motopark's Kimiya Sato took the chequered flag in ninth place, with young Dutch racer Hannes Vann Asseldonk doing enough to round out the top ten.
Out of the eight non-finishers, Britain's Alexander Sims was the first to retire, the TOMS driver losing control of his car during his lap to the grid. Portugal's Félix da Costa joined him on the sidelines after his first lap woes, with the pair now left with slim chances of featuring on the coveted podium tomorrow afternoon.
Sunday's main race begins at 3.30pm local time (GMT +8)
Macau Grand Prix
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