2011 Macau Grand Prix
|Date||19–20 November 2011|
|Official name||58th SJM Macau Grand Prix|
|Location||Guia Circuit, Macau|
|Course||Temporary street circuit
6.120 km (3.803 mi)
10 laps, 61.200 km (38.028 mi)
15 laps, 91.800 km (57.042 mi)
|Weather||Qualifying Race: Bright, air 28 °C (82 °F), track 32 °C (90 °F)
Main Race: Cloudy, air 25 °C (77 °F), track 27 °C (81 °F)
|Driver||Roberto Merhi||Prema Powerteam|
|Time||2:13.654 (on lap 7)|
|Third||Roberto Merhi||Prema Powerteam|
|Time||2:12.146 (on lap 13)|
|First||Daniel Juncadella||Prema Powerteam|
The 2011 Macau Grand Prix Formula Three was the 58th Macau Grand Prix race to be held, and was held on the streets of Macau on 20 November 2011. It was the 29th edition for Formula Three cars, and was supported by the 2011 Guia Race of Macau. The race weekend also formed the final two rounds of the inaugural FIA Formula 3 International Trophy, which had been won prior to Macau by Formula 3 Euro Series champion Roberto Merhi.
For the first time, the Grand Prix was won by a Spanish driver, as Prema Powerteam's Daniel Juncadella took victory from sixth position on the grid. Juncadella's victory was also the first for an Italian team since Forti Corse won the 1988 race with Enrico Bertaggia. Second place was claimed by Felipe Nasr for Carlin, with the podium completed by Qualification Race winner Marco Wittmann for Signature. The Grand Prix itself was a race of attrition, as only 13 of the race's 29 starters were running at the conclusion of the race.
In order to compete in Macau, drivers had to compete in an FIA-regulated championship meeting during the calendar year, in either the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy or one of the domestic championships, with these drivers given priority in receiving an invitation to the meeting.
Within the 30-car grid of the event, each of the major Formula Three series were represented by their respective champion. Roberto Merhi, the Euro Series and FIA International Trophy champion, was joined in Macau by British champion Felipe Nasr, German series winner Richie Stanaway and Japanese champion Yuhi Sekiguchi, who was a late addition to the entry list after injury ruled out Michael Ho. Four drivers from the GP3 Series, including champion Valtteri Bottas, also made a return to Formula Three for the event, and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 runner-up Carlos Sainz Jr. was also part of the field, having competed in the Euro Series in order to compete at Macau.
Practice and qualifying
Marco Wittmann set the fastest time for Signature in the 45-minute first free practice session that was held prior to the first qualifying session, setting a lap time almost two seconds quicker than anyone else on a drying Guia circuit. His closest challenger was Prema Powerteam's Daniel Juncadella ahead of Mücke Motorsport's Yuhi Sekiguchi, the other Prema car of Roberto Merhi, and Lucas Foresti completed the top five for Fortec Motorsport ahead of Carlin trio Kevin Magnussen, Felipe Nasr and Carlos Huertas. Owing to the wet conditions, the session was stopped on two occasions; the stationary cars of Hironobu Yasuda and Mitch Evans caused the first red flag almost 20 minutes into the session, with Felix Rosenqvist the cause of the second stoppage.
The first qualifying session saw Merhi on top, again with a margin of over 1.5 seconds to the field. However, his session came to an early end in deteriorating track conditions as he misjudged his braking for Lisboa and ran into the back of Rosenqvist, ending the session for both drivers. Wittmann ended up second ahead of Nasr, Juncadella and Alexander Sims. Sekiguchi finished the session in sixth place ahead of top-placed rookie Hannes van Asseldonk and António Félix da Costa with William Buller and Rosenqvist rounding out the top ten. Following them were Foresti, Kimiya Sato with Richie Stanaway and Magnussen provisionally lining up on row seven. Daniel Abt, who held the lead of the Grand Prix before crashing out in 2010, was next ahead of Jazeman Jaafar, Marko Asmer, Laurens Vanthoor and Jimmy Eriksson. Adderly Fong ended the session in 20th, ahead of Carlos Muñoz, Huertas, Hideki Yamauchi, Carlos Sainz Jr., Hywel Lloyd, Evans, Valtteri Bottas, Pietro Fantin, Richard Bradley and Yasuda. After qualifying, numerous penalties were handed out. For earlier free practice incidents, Magnussen and Rosenqvist were sent to the back of the field. Rosenqvist was also given a three-place grid penalty for illegally crossing the pit lane exit line, along with session pacesetter Merhi, Asmer and Signature team-mates Vanthoor, Muñoz and Sainz. Yasuda was given a six-place grid drop for crossing the line on two occasions. Merhi was then given another grid penalty for running into Rosenqvist, taking his total drop for the qualification race to ten places. Prior to second qualifying, Merhi, Rosenqvist and van Asseldonk – whose original penalty had not been announced – had their penalties rescinded.
In the second 45-minute practice session, Wittmann and Merhi fought for the top spot again as the track had dried out from earlier rain, and drivers were able to use slick tyres for the first time in the meeting. Wittmann came out on top by three tenths of a second, ahead of Merhi. Juncadella, Sainz and Nasr filled out the rest of the top five, the only other drivers to be within a second of the pace set by Wittmann. The session had to be stopped three times due to crashes, as Félix da Costa crashed early on at Moorish, Merhi hit the barriers at San Francisco after running wide, and team-mate Juncadella also crashed into the barriers late on. Juncadella also became another driver to be penalised three places on the grid for illegally crossing the pit lane exit line.
In the second qualifying session, Wittmann set the early pace in the session before Merhi, looking to record as fast a time as possible in order to minimise his potential grid loss, moved ahead. Wittmann and Merhi then traded fastest times once more before Wittmann took pole position with his final lap of the session, by 0.064 seconds ahead of Merhi. With Merhi's penalty, Félix da Costa moved onto the front row, despite twice having problems with a sticking throttle. Also moving ahead of Merhi were Bottas, Sims, Nasr, Huertas and Sekiguchi, as Magnussen and Rosenqvist – who were both quicker than Huertas and Sekiguchi – had already been sent to the back of the grid for their Thursday misdemeanours. The rest of the field lined up after penalties as Vanthoor, Sato, Juncadella, Asmer, Muñoz, top debutant Fantin, Jaafar, Abt, van Asseldonk, Stanaway, Sainz, Buller, Yamauchi, Lloyd, Foresti, Bradley, Fong, Yasuda, Eriksson and Evans – who failed to record times within 110% of Wittmann in second qualifying – who would start ahead of Magnussen and Rosenqvist. The session passed relatively smoothly, with only Abt – after contact from Bradley – and Nasr hitting the barriers.
The race was delayed by 30 minutes after earlier barrier damage from the GT Cup qualifying session. On his installation lap to the grid, Sims crashed his car at the Solitude Esses; he recovered to the pits, but failed to start the race due to extensive damage to the left-front corner of his car. At the start, Wittmann made the best start as Félix da Costa failed to get away from the line with a mechanical problem; he eventually did get started, but last. Behind them, Merhi made the best start and moved all the way up to fourth place on the first lap, behind Wittmann, Nasr and Bottas. Further back, Fantin became the race's first retirement, crashing out heavily, but the safety car was not called for. Merhi slipstreamed onto the back of Bottas, and then outbraked him in the braking zone at Lisboa to move into third place, while further back, Muñoz pulled off circuit from eleventh place with mechanical issues. Also pulling off in the first half of the race were Yasuda via a trip to the pits, Félix da Costa, who was languishing at the back of the field after his stall, and Bradley after contact with Evans.
Merhi then set his sights on Nasr, trying on two successive laps at Lisboa, before yellow flags halted his challenge for a time as Félix da Costa's car was recovered, and also due to the debris from the Bradley-Evans collision. The race's overtaking was curtailed on the eighth lap, as Eriksson put his Motopark car into the barriers at Police, and as such, the race ended under the safety car. Wittmann thus took victory and pole position for the Grand Prix itself, and would be joined on the front row by Nasr after holding off Merhi's advances. Merhi completed the podium, ahead of Bottas, who finished fourth ahead of Huertas, Juncadella, Vanthoor, Abt, Sato and van Asseldonk, the last quartet gaining positions after Asmer slowed. Outside the top ten, Yamauchi finished eleventh ahead of Sekiguchi, Buller, Foresti, Stanaway, Lloyd, Jaafar, Asmer, Magnussen, Sainz, Rosenqvist and Evans rounded out the 22 classified finishers.
Prior to the start, Yasuda pulled into the pits with mechanical issues, and retired; reducing the field to 28 as Eriksson failed to start the race after his crash during the Qualification Race. The front row of Wittmann and Nasr made decent starts but chaos ensued behind. Merhi stalled in third position, which caused the remainder of the field to scramble for any open spaces that were available to them. Vanthoor clipped the front of Merhi's car which sent him spinning across the track and eventually collected his team-mate Abt, with both out on the spot. Merhi was not out of trouble for long as Stanaway rammed into the back of him, with Stanaway out on the spot and Merhi, who made it back to the pits, eventually retired with a damaged rear wing and suspension damage. Wittmann held the lead to Lisboa with Bottas, Juncadella and Nasr all in close proximity to the Signature driver's car. Fifth-placed Huertas was not so fortunate in making it round Lisboa unscathed, spinning in front of the pack, and pinning Sato in behind him.
Ultimately, the safety car was called for due to the extensive debris that was remaining on the pit straight. Racing resumed at the end of lap 3, with Wittmann holding onto the lead from Bottas, despite pressure all the way to Lisboa from the pit straight. Juncadella and Nasr fell in behind, with Yamauchi completing the top five. Nasr moved ahead of Bottas by the end of the fourth lap, with Bottas not lasting much longer in the race. On the run to Lisboa, Nasr, Bottas and Juncadella were three-wide on the straight with Bottas braking the latest for Lisboa, but clipped the barrier on the outside of the corner, causing damage to the left side of his car, and retired from the race. Juncadella took advantage of Nasr being slightly slowed in the corner and moved into second place. Evans also exited the race with braking issues. Wittmann extended his lead to three seconds over Juncadella but that was nullified after Rosenqvist hit the barriers at Faraway.
At the next restart, Wittmann did not hold the lead like he had done previously; such was the slipstream of the other cars, that Wittmann finished the tenth lap in fifth place. Juncadella took the lead, with Sekiguchi moving into second place almost unnoticed, barging his way past Nasr into Lisboa, with van Asseldonk following close behind. Nasr eventually found his way back past Sekiguchi into second place, and after closing back in on van Asseldonk, Wittmann reeled off times in the 2:12 bracket even while passing the Hitech driver. Wittmann then set the fastest lap of the race on lap 13, while passing Sekiguchi for third place. Just like in the Qualification Race, the race was finished under neutralised safety car conditions after two separate incidents on lap 14 of the race. At the Mandarin, Yamauchi made an error after being passed by Foresti, and caused a chain reaction within the next few cars to approach the incident. Magnussen was trying to pass Buller, and went over the back over his car at 165 mph (266 km/h), flying into the catch-fencing on the outside of the circuit, but escaped with just a left knee injury. Lloyd braked to avoid the incident but was hit from behind by Sainz; as a result, Lloyd was taken to the circuit's medical centre for a checkup. Sims was also involved, and retired as well.
As such, Juncadella held on to the end and became the first Spanish driver to win the Grand Prix. Nasr held second to the end, holding off Wittmann's ever-increasing pressure that was eventually negated by the appearance of the safety car. Sekiguchi finished in fourth place ahead of van Asseldonk, both having been a part of the lead group during the race. Buller survived unscathed from the incident with Magnussen to finish in sixth place, team-mate Foresti, also after a close call, was seventh ahead of Jaafar. The top ten was rounded out by Bradley and Fong, both of whom had started the race outside the top 20. Outside the top ten, Fantin finished eleventh having moved up eighteen from his start position, and finished ahead of Sato, with Huertas 13th ahead of Magnussen, Yamauchi, Lloyd, Sainz, Sims and Asmer, the six drivers who retired in the closing stages, and the sextet rounded out the 19 classified finishers.
- Qualifying was split into two sessions, both of which being 30 minutes. One session was held on 17 November and another was held on 18 November, with the best times of each driver counting towards the grid for the qualifying race.
|Pos||No||Driver||Team||Q1 Time||Rank||Q2 Time||Rank||Gap||Grid|
|2||11||Roberto Merhi||Prema Powerteam||2:28.860||1||2:12.854||2||+ 0.064||81|
|3||22||António Félix da Costa||Hitech Racing||2:31.901||8||2:13.115||3||+ 0.325||2|
|4||26||Valtteri Bottas||Double R Racing||2:35.877||27||2:13.192||4||+ 0.402||3|
|5||15||Alexander Sims||TOM'S||2:31.306||5||2:13.407||5||+ 0.617||4|
|6||7||Felipe Nasr||Carlin||2:30.639||3||2:13.429||6||+ 0.639||5|
|7||8||Kevin Magnussen||Carlin||2:33.281||14||2:13.518||7||+ 0.728||292|
|8||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mücke Motorsport||2:32.457||10||2:13.528||8||+ 0.738||303|
|9||9||Carlos Huertas||Carlin||2:34.675||22||2:13.704||9||+ 0.914||6|
|10||20||Yuhi Sekiguchi||Mücke Motorsport||2:31.634||6||2:13.850||10||+ 1.060||7|
|11||2||Laurens Vanthoor||Signature||2:33.881||18||2:13.973||11||+ 1.183||94|
|12||25||Marko Asmer||Double R Racing||2:33.866||17||2:14.011||12||+ 1.221||124|
|13||4||Carlos Muñoz||Signature||2:34.278||21||2:14.020||13||+ 1.230||134|
|14||12||Daniel Juncadella||Prema Powerteam||2:30.867||4||2:14.064||14||+ 1.274||114|
|15||28||Kimiya Sato||Motopark||2:32.891||12||2:14.246||15||+ 1.456||10|
|16||21||Pietro Fantin||Hitech Racing||2:36.057||28||2:14.415||16||+ 1.625||14|
|17||10||Jazeman Jaafar||Carlin||2:33.588||16||2:14.477||17||+ 1.687||15|
|18||5||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Signature||2:34.744||24||2:14.511||18||+ 1.721||194|
|19||3||Daniel Abt||Signature||2:33.428||15||2:14.513||19||+ 1.723||16|
|20||23||Hannes van Asseldonk||Hitech Racing||2:31.891||7||2:14.591||20||+ 1.801||17|
|21||32||Richie Stanaway||Van Amersfoort Racing||2:32.996||13||2:14.625||21||+ 1.835||18|
|22||17||William Buller||Fortec Motorsport||2:32.295||9||2:14.649||22||+ 1.859||20|
|23||14||Hideki Yamauchi||Toda Racing||2:34.725||23||2:14.863||23||+ 2.073||21|
|24||30||Hywel Lloyd||Sino Vision Racing||2:34.750||25||2:15.022||24||+ 2.232||22|
|25||18||Lucas Foresti||Fortec Motorsport||2:32.551||11||2:15.061||25||+ 2.271||23|
|26||16||Richard Bradley||TOM'S||2:36.823||29||2:15.855||26||+ 3.065||24|
|27||29||Adderly Fong||Sino Vision Racing||2:34.273||20||2:16.666||27||+ 3.876||25|
|28||6||Hironobu Yasuda||ThreeBond Racing||2:42.441||30||2:22.302||28||+ 9.512||265|
110% qualifying time: 2:26.069
|29||27||Jimmy Eriksson||Motopark||2:34.034||19||2:55.360||29||+ 21.244||276|
|30||24||Mitch Evans||Double R Racing||2:35.133||26||no time||+ 22.343||286|
Bold time indicates the faster of the two times that determined the grid order.
- 1.^ – Merhi was dropped seven places on the grid for causing a collision with Felix Rosenqvist.
- 2.^ – Magnussen started at the back of the grid, after ignoring yellow flags during first qualifying.
- 3.^ – Rosenqvist started at the back of the grid, behind Magnussen, after overtaking under yellow flags and an incident in free practice.
- 4.^ – Muñoz, Vanthoor, Sainz, Asmer and Juncadella were given three-place grid penalties for the qualification race, for illegally crossing the pit lane exit line.
- 5.^ – Yasuda was penalised six places for illegally crossing the pit lane exit line twice.
- 6.^ – Despite not setting a qualifying time within 110% of polesitter Wittmann's time, Eriksson and Evans were allowed to race at the stewards' discretion.
|2||7||Felipe Nasr||Carlin||10||+ 0.867||5|
|3||11||Roberto Merhi||Prema Powerteam||10||+ 3.483||8|
|4||26||Valtteri Bottas||Double R Racing||10||+ 4.270||3|
|5||9||Carlos Huertas||Carlin||10||+ 4.850||6|
|6||12||Daniel Juncadella||Prema Powerteam||10||+ 5.381||11|
|7||2||Laurens Vanthoor||Signature||10||+ 6.512||9|
|8||3||Daniel Abt||Signature||10||+ 7.228||16|
|9||28||Kimiya Sato||Motopark||10||+ 8.154||10|
|10||23||Hannes van Asseldonk||Hitech Racing||10||+ 9.337||17|
|11||14||Hideki Yamauchi||Toda Racing||10||+ 10.200||21|
|12||20||Yuhi Sekiguchi||Mücke Motorsport||10||+ 10.789||7|
|13||17||William Buller||Fortec Motorsport||10||+ 11.086||20|
|14||18||Lucas Foresti||Fortec Motorsport||10||+ 11.517||23|
|15||32||Richie Stanaway||Van Amersfoort Racing||10||+ 12.167||18|
|16||30||Hywel Lloyd||Sino Vision Racing||10||+ 12.888||22|
|17||10||Jazeman Jaafar||Carlin||10||+ 13.967||15|
|18||25||Marko Asmer||Double R Racing||10||+ 14.933||12|
|19||8||Kevin Magnussen||Carlin||10||+ 15.558||29|
|20||5||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Signature||10||+ 16.388||19|
|21||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mücke Motorsport||10||+ 16.924||30|
|22||24||Mitch Evans||Double R Racing||10||+ 18.601||28|
|Ret||29||Adderly Fong||Sino Vision Racing||6||Accident||25|
|Ret||22||António Félix da Costa||Hitech Racing||4||Gearbox||2|
|Ret||6||Hironobu Yasuda||ThreeBond Racing||3||Engine||26|
|Ret||21||Pietro Fantin||Hitech Racing||0||Accident||14|
|DNS||15||Alexander Sims||TOM'S||Accident damage||4|
|Fastest lap: Roberto Merhi, 2:13.654, 164.844 km/h (102.429 mph) on lap 7|
|The race finished under neutralised safety car conditions.|
|1||12||Daniel Juncadella||Prema Powerteam||15||42:17.099||6|
|2||7||Felipe Nasr||Carlin||15||+ 0.359||2|
|3||1||Marco Wittmann||Signature||15||+ 0.662||1|
|4||20||Yuhi Sekiguchi||Mücke Motorsport||15||+ 1.378||12|
|5||23||Hannes van Asseldonk||Hitech Racing||15||+ 2.128||10|
|6||17||William Buller||Fortec Motorsport||15||+ 3.301||13|
|7||18||Lucas Foresti||Fortec Motorsport||15||+ 3.860||14|
|8||10||Jazeman Jaafar||Carlin||15||+ 4.062||17|
|9||16||Richard Bradley||TOM'S||15||+ 4.595||25|
|10||29||Adderly Fong||Sino Vision Racing||15||+ 4.819||24|
|11||21||Pietro Fantin||Hitech Racing||15||+ 5.551||30|
|12||28||Kimiya Sato||Motopark||15||+ 6.534||9|
|13||9||Carlos Huertas||Carlin||15||+ 8.336||5|
|15||14||Hideki Yamauchi||Toda Racing||13||Collision||11|
|16||30||Hywel Lloyd||Sino Vision Racing||13||Collision||16|
|17||5||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Signature||13||Collision||20|
|19||25||Marko Asmer||Double R Racing||13||Engine||18|
|Ret||22||António Félix da Costa||Hitech Racing||12||Wheel||26|
|Ret||19||Felix Rosenqvist||Mücke Motorsport||6||Accident||21|
|Ret||26||Valtteri Bottas||Double R Racing||4||Accident||4|
|Ret||24||Mitch Evans||Double R Racing||4||Brakes||22|
|Ret||11||Roberto Merhi||Prema Powerteam||1||Collision damage||3|
|Ret||32||Richie Stanaway||Van Amersfoort Racing||0||Collision||15|
|Ret||6||Hironobu Yasuda||ThreeBond Racing||0||Engine||27|
|DNS||27||Jimmy Eriksson||Motopark||Accident damage||23|
|Fastest lap: Marco Wittmann, 2:12.146, 166.725 km/h (103.598 mph) on lap 13|
|The race finished under neutralised safety car conditions.|
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