Macau GP: Nick Cassidy 8th after qualifying one as Da Costa heads field

Autosport

Antonio Felix da Costa topped the first day of qualifying for the Macau Grand Prix in a session punctuated by four red flags.

The factory BMW driver propelled his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen to the top of the times just before the third of the red flags as he bids to repeat his Macau win from 2012 in the first running of the FIA F3 World Cup.

It was good enough to put him 0.226 seconds clear of Callum Ilott, who continued his strong Thursday form in the lead Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Mercedes.

Da Costa spearheaded an extremely strong day by Carlin that finished with all four of the British team’s cars in the top nine, with Sergio Sette Camara sixth, Lando Norris seventh and Jake Hughes ninth, the last two being the fastest Macau rookies.

That was despite Norris hitting the wall at San Francisco Bend – with Joel Eriksson also smacking into the barriers at the Solitude esses, that caused the third of the red flags to be called.

“It was a good session,” said da Costa.

“It’s a lot of fun more than anything – this morning I was not so happy with the car, but I think the track improved, with new tyres it made it easier and the team did a good job bringing the car to my liking.

“I have to say the level of rookies is really impressive – when I was a rookie I wasn’t as close to the top as these guys, and they’re pushing me hard.”

Two-time Macau winner Felix Rosenqvist was frustrated with the continual stoppages, the Swede feeling he got nowhere near the best out of his new tyres and taking third place in the lead Prema Powerteam machine.

Matching Rosenqvist to the thousandth was highly impressive Japanese champion Kenta Yamashita, who continued his strong opening day by taking fourth in T-Sport’s Tomei-engined car, although he caused the first red flag when a wheel came off, possibly as the result of a split rim.

Daniel Juncadella ended the afternoon fifth fastest in his Hitech GP car, and also heavily in the barriers at Fisherman’s Bend, causing the fourth and final red flag of the session.

Splitting the Carlin teamsters was Nick Cassidy, who was even more annoyed than Prema team-mate Rosenqvist with the red flags on his way to eighth fastest.

The top 10 was rounded out by Scot Sam MacLeod in his Fortec Motorsport car, just ahead of Alexander Sims, who got stuck in reverse in the Lisboa escape road just before the second red flag.

Another crasher was Japanese series ace Sho Tsuboi, who nosed his TOM’S machine into the wall at Police before it was craned away under local yellow flags.

Ferdinand Habsburg returned to the track after being released from hospital following his morning crash with a spinal muscle strain, but no broken bones.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

POSDRIVERTEAMCARTIMEGAP
1Antonio Felix da CostaCarlinDallara/Volkswagen2m11.535s
2Callum IlottVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes2m11.761s0.226s
3Felix RosenqvistSJM Theodore Racing by Prema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes2m11.797s0.262s
4Kenta YamashitaThreeBond with T-SportDallara/Threebond2m11.797s0.262s
5Daniel JuncadellaHitechGPDallara/Mercedes2m11.821s0.286s
6Sergio Sette CamaraCarlinDallara/Volkswagen2m11.994s0.459s
7Lando NorrisCarlinDallara/Volkswagen2m11.996s0.461s
8Nick CassidySJM Theodore Racing by Prema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes2m12.123s0.588s
9Jake HughesCarlinDallara/Volkswagen2m12.360s0.825s
10Sam MacLeodFortec MotorsportsDallara/Mercedes2m12.536s1.001s
11Alexander SimsDouble R RacingDallara/Mercedes2m12.600s1.065s
12Arjun MainiMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen2m12.657s1.122s
13George RussellHitechGPDallara/Mercedes2m12.670s1.135s
14Anthoine HubertVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes2m12.727s1.192s
15Maximilian GuntherSJM Theodore Racing by Prema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes2m13.017s1.482s
16Daniel TicktumDouble R RacingDallara/Mercedes2m13.102s1.567s
17Pedro PiquetVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes2m13.276s1.741s
18Andy ChangThreeBond with T-SportDallara/NBE2m13.336s1.801s
19Nikita MazepinHitechGPDallara/Mercedes2m13.438s1.903s
20Joel ErikssonMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen2m13.479s1.944s
21Hong Li YeB-MAX Racing TeamDallara/Volkswagen2m14.012s2.477s
22David BeckmannKFZTeile24 Mucke MotorsportDallara/Mercedes2m14.062s2.527s
23Jann MardenboroughB-MAX Racing TeamDallara/Volkswagen2m14.174s2.639s
24Guan Yu ZhouMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen2m14.278s2.743s
25Keyvan SooriKFZTeile24 Mucke MotorsportDallara/Mercedes2m14.803s3.268s
26Sho TsuboiTOM’SDallara/Toyota2m15.051s3.516s
27Daiki SasakiB-MAX Racing TeamDallara/Volkswagen2m15.261s3.726s
28Ferdinand HabsburgFortec MotorsportsDallara/Mercedes2m15.336s3.801s
29Tadasuke MakinoToda RacingDallara/Toda2m15.618s4.083s

Macau GP: Nick Cassidy 8th after qualifying one as Da Costa heads field

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