Grosjean relishing return to “favourite circuit” Sepang

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Most drivers name Spa or Suzuka as their favorite F1 circuits. But Romain Grosjean is especially fond of the next venue on the calendar.

The Sepang International circuit, which holds the Malaysian Grand Prix for the 15th time this year, is one the Lotus driver especially enjoys:

“Sepang is probably my favorite track of the whole season. I first raced there in 2008 as part of the GP2 Asia Series and I really loved the circuit. It’s nice and wide, with fast flowing corners and a lot of undulation which makes it great fun to drive.”

“The last corner is a tricky one, but I enjoy everything about racing there. Well, maybe not the heat and humidity, but at the end of the day it’s just another challenge for the drivers! I’m really looking forward to it.”

Grosjean had a disappointing result in last week’s season-opener. The Lotus driver finished tenth, 82 seconds behind his race-winning team mate.

“Everything looked positive after qualifying in the morning, but in the race something felt wrong with my car,” said Grosjean. “I sat down with my engineers to analyze where the problem came from and we hopefully will be able to perform better in the future.”

“The car felt so good at times over the weekend, but then at other times it wasn’t where I wanted it to be. It meant that the race felt long and pretty difficult for me.”

However team principal Eric Boullier felt Grosjean had make life difficult for himself by deviating from the team’s planned strategy:

“We had decided on a two-stop strategy before the race, even for Romain. Unfortunately, when he got stuck in traffic he changed strategy otherwise we could have had a strong result from both cars.”

Ferrari junior Ilott victorious in Macau F3 qualification race

Theodore Racing
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Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.

Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.

Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.

With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.

“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.

“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”

Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.

Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.

You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.