Briton Dan Ticktum became a two-time Macau Grand Prix winner on Sunday after dominating the FIA F3 World Cup at the famous Guia Circuit.
The Motopark Academy driver pulled clear on the first start as drama kicked off behind. Marino Sato was the first car to find trouble at the legendary Lisboa corner, while left a number of others behind also followed suit.
This resulted in a short safety car period, but unfortunately the race was halted almost immediately after the restart when Sophia Flörsch was involved in a major accident, again at Lisboa. The incident also involved Sho Tsuboi and led to both drivers, as well as two members of the media and a marshal being transferred to hospital – see separate statement. FIA President Jean Todt also issued a message of support and commitment to analyse the incident and take all necessary action.
The race restarted after a lengthy delay, and Ticktum picked up from where he left off.
Sacha Fenestraz, who had grabbed second from Joel Eriksson at the initial start, was under pressure when the action got back underway. Eriksson made his move soon after and slipped back into P2 before setting about reeling in Ticktum.
The Swede kept Ticktum honest but was unable to make any real inroads, which left last year’s winner cruising to a Macau GP double in commanding fashion.
Eriksson and Fenestraz completed the podium, ahead of Hitech GP’s Jake Hughes and SJM Theodore Racing by Prema pair Mick Schumacher and Ralf Aron.
Callum Ilott struggled for pace for much of the contest, having started third on the grid, and the talented Briton eventually had to settle for seventh. Jüri Vips had finished seventh on the road but he was given a 40-second post-race penalty for passing under red flag conditions.
Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shvartzman were eighth and ninth, whilst Ferdinand Habsburg completed the top ten.
Dan Ticktum said: “It’s very, very special, I think I’ve emulated the feeling I had last year, if not slightly better. I’m ecstatic to be a two-time winner at Macau, it’s absolutely sensational for the team, me and the momentum in my career going forward. As soon as I saw Joel pass Sacha I knew I had a lot more pressure on me, but that actually made it more rewarding as I had to drive pretty close to the limit to keep that cushion so he couldn’t get the slipstream or have the chance to overtake me. I think a 2:10.02 is pretty fast! I think it was about a tenth off the lap record too which is pretty annoying! But yeah I can’t complain, it was pretty much a perfect weekend.”
Joel Eriksson said: “I had a good run on Sacha on the restart – it was quite a hard overtake, it was very tight. Then afterwards I was trying to push to catch Dan, but I was struggling a bit with the balance of the car in sectors two and three. He was a bit quicker than me in the mountains which gave him what he needed in the straights. I tried once on the restart and wasn’t close enough, which was a shame. But overall, I’m super happy to only be in the car once this year and finish second in the FIA F3 World Cup. So I’m really happy for the team.”
Sacha Fenestraz said: "It was a really long race. I knew that Ticktum was really quick and for both of the safety car restarts he was really fast – I knew I would struggle to catch him on the straights. I also knew Joel was really fast; I did my best to keep him behind me, but he overtook me. I’d say towards the end of the race I was gaining on him but nowhere near close enough for the slipstream, I went for a move into turn five, but I think I did a pretty good job. It’s my second time here, compared to some of the other drivers. Looking forward to next year, I’ll come stronger."