Swedish racer Felix Rosenqvist has firmly established himself as a future star in single seater racing after winning the legendary Macau Grand Prix F3 race today.
However, it was not without drama as a huge first lap pile up saw the race get red flagged and result in the retirement of Esteban Ocon and Tom Blomqvist, both of whom held high hopes of winning the event.
The Macau F3 race has historically been one of the biggest prizes in junior single seater motorsport, with former winners including Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and Takuma Sato.
This year’s field included a number of high-profile junior drivers, including 2015 Toro Rosso racer Max Verstappen. However, the Dutchman’s hopes of winning were dashed in yesterday’s qualifying race, where a crash left him starting at the back of the grid.
The incident at the start of today’s race saw a number of drivers get caught out at the tight San Francisco corner, resulting in the race being red flagged and restarted from the grid.
Rosenqvist, who finished eighth in this year’s FIA F3 European Championship, lost the lead only temporarily to Lucas Auer at the start before taking control of the race. At the flag, his advantage stood at just over four seconds, with Auer making it a one-two finish for Mucke Motorsport. New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy completed the podium.
Caterham driver Roberto Merhi came home in fourth place ahead of a possible F1 debut in Abu Dhabi next weekend, with Nicolas Latifi and Stefano Coletti finishing fifth and sixth respectively.
After starting from the back, Max Verstappen put on a magnificent display to finish in seventh place ahead of the top American driver, Santino Ferrucci, in eighth.