Da Costa claims second Macau victory ahead of Rosenqvist

Leave a comment

Antonio Felix da Costa fought through to his second Macau Grand Prix victory on Sunday following a race-long battle with Red Bull youngster Sergio Sette Camara.

Andretti Formula E driver Da Costa won the Macau Formula 3 event back in 2012, but was afforded the opportunity to return to the streets of the principality by Carlin for this weekend’s event.

Da Costa stamped his authority on proceedings by winning Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of British youngster Callum Ilott, securing pole position for the main event on Sunday.

Ilott made the best getaway off the grid to initially take the lead, only for da Costa and Camara to make use of the slipstream to sweep past on the opening lap.

Camara was able to slingshot his way from third into the lead of the race, with da Costa closing to within a second before the safety car was called after a crash for Force India junior Nikita Mazepin.

Da Costa eventually battled past on the restart on Lap 7, leaving Camara struggling to keep on his tail until being handed a reprieve by a second safety car period following a shunt for Nick Cassidy.

Da Costa fended off Camara on the restart before pulling out a healthy lead that would remain to the checkered flag, handing the Portuguese driver an emotional second victory around Macau’s streets.

Camara was unable to keep da Costa’s Formula E colleague Felix Rosenqvist back in the dying stages of the race, with the Swede taking second. However, it did mark the end of his stint as Macau champion after winning for the past two years.

Camara ended the race third ahead of Japanese F3 champion Kenta Yamashita, who demoted Ilott to fifth following the second safety car period, while British youngsters Jake Hughes and George Russell followed in P6 and P7 respectively.

James Hinchcliffe on Andretti: ‘It’s certainly the place I want to be’

Leave a comment

Since before the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, James Hinchcliffe tirelessly has worked to ensure the future would include a full-time return in 2021.

And with an opportunity to run the final three races this season with Andretti Autosport, there seems a surefire (albeit unlikely) path.

“If I go out and win all three,” Hinchcliffe joked with IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview Friday (watch the video above), “it would be hard for them to say no, right?”

Regardless of whether he can go unbeaten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next weekend or the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida (where he earned his first career win in 2013), Hinchcliffe will have the chance to improve his stock with the team that he knows well and now has an opening among its five cars for 2021.

All three of Hinchcliffe’s starts this season — the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, July 4 at the IMS road course and the Indianapolis 500 — were with Andretti, where he ran full time in IndyCar from 2012-14.

“Obviously, the plan from January 2020 was already working on ’21 and trying to be in a full-time program,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being reunited with Andretti Autosport, and everybody there has been so supportive. It’s been a very fun year for me on track. It’s been kind of a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways.

“It’s certainly the place I want to be moving forward. We’ve been working on that, working on those conversations. Genesys has been an incredible partner in my three races. We’ll be representing Gainbridge primarily, but Genesys will still have a position on our car in the last three.”

Gainbridge is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Dallara-Honda that was vacated by Zach Veach, who left the team after it was determined he wouldn’t return in 2021. Hinchcliffe can empathize having lost his ride with Arrow McLaren SP after last season with a year left on his deal.

“You never want to earn a ride at the expense of somebody else in the sense that has happened here with Zach,” Hinchcliffe said. “I feel bad that he’s not able to see out the last three races of his season. I’ve got a lot of respect for him off track. He’s been a teammate this year, a colleague for years before that and honestly a friend for years before that. I’ve got a lot of time for him and his family. I understand a little bit of what it’s like in that position and what he’s going through.”

Hinchcliffe is ready to seize the moment, though, starting with the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had been hoping to add the Harvest Indy Grand Prix to his schedule and had been working out for the possibility.

“Then last week I had given up hope (and) was resigned that wasn’t happening,” he said. “I told my trainer, ‘I think we’re done for this year.’ Three days later, this call comes. I’m glad we didn’t make that decision too early. I feel great physically.

“I look at it as a great opportunity to continue to show I’ve still got what it takes and should be there hopefully full time next year on the grid.”

Watch Hinchliffe’s video with Leigh Diffey above or by clicking here.