Macau GP: Verschoor beats Vips in thrilling duel
MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor scored a giantkilling Macau Grand Prix victory after fending off Red Bull junior Juri Vips in the new Formula 3 car’s Guia circuit debut.
In a dramatic start to the race, 2019 FIA Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman of Prema Racing and ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard went side-by-side behind Vips for second, but Ferrari junior Shwartzman was on the left-hand side into Mandarin and Lundgaard clipped the front-right of Shwartzman’s car as the former took the inside.
Shwartzman rolled into the run-off at Lisboa with a puncture, one of the pre-event favourites immediately removed from the action.
Third-placed starter Verschoor made the most of the battle and dived to the inside to take second, but Vips ended the first tour 1.8 seconds ahead in a phenomenal first lap by the Hitech Grand Prix ace.
But the gap would be eradicated by a crash at Lisboa for Leo Pulcini, which was quickly followed a by Ferdinand Habsburg spearing into the barriers at the Esses, bringing out a safety car.
Verschoor jumped ahead of Vips at Lisboa on the restart, drafting past to the outside and completing the move on the brakes, before a short virtual safety car period.
When the action resumed, DRS was enabled and Vips attempted multiple moves into Lisboa on the last four laps, but ultimately Verschoor was able to hold on for a fairytale win for the minnow MP Motorsport outfit.
Vips was a clear second from Logan Sargeant of Carlin, the rookie perhaps lucky to escape a penalty for his role in a Turn 1 pile-up at Lisboa in the qualifying race.
Renault junior Lundgaard wasn’t able to rebuff Sargeant but did hold Alessio Lorandi at bay, the Italian returning to racing after spending a year out for a torn tendon in his thumb.
Ferrari junior Callum Ilott followed Lorandi home as another driver with little or no experience of the new F3 car, the Briton competing in F2 this season and missed his simulator session before the weekend due to cancelled flights.
Verschoor’s MP teammate Liam Lawson had started 20th, but with a number of opportunistic moves the Red Bull junior finished seventh, just behind Ilott.
Marcus Armstrong scythed through the field for FIA F3 teams’ champions Prema Racing, the Ferrari junior having started 17th after being caught in a qualifying race pile-up.
David Beckmann was the top Trident driver in ninth although he slipped back through the race, while another Prema driver, Fredrik Vesti, rounded out the top 10.
On her return after a shocking airborne crash last year, Sophia Floersch retired after her HWA car ground to a halt just before Mandarin, which brought out the VSC.
Double Macau winner Dan Ticktum pulled off an impressive recovery drive, coming from the back of the grid to finish 13th.
The Brit had been caught up in the Turn 1 qualification race crash which robbed him of fighting for a hat-trick of wins on his first outing with Carlin at the race.
HWA's Jake Hughes was caught up in the same crash and also had to come through from the back, ending up 17th.
|1||21||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||--|
|2||6||Juri Vips||Hitech Grand Prix||0.792|
|4||9||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||2.241|
|6||25||Callum Ilott||Sauber Junior Team||5.922|
|7||20||Liam Lawson||MP Motorsport||8.594|
|8||2||Marcus Armstrong||Prema Theodore Racing||9.365|
|10||3||Frederik Vesti||Prema Theodore Racing||13.633|
|11||8||Yuki Tsunoda||Hitech Grand Prix||15.717|
|14||19||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||20.498|
|15||11||Sebastian Fernandez||ART Grand Prix||21.705|
|16||27||Enzo Fittipaldi||Sauber Junior Team||26.174|
|18||7||Max Fewtrell||Hitech Grand Prix||28.690|
|19||23||Charles Leong||Jenzer Motorsport||33.792|
|20||24||Andreas Estner||Jenzer Motorsport||34.400|
|21||26||David Schumacher||Sauber Junior Team||35.894|
|22||32||Enaam Ahmed||Campos Racing||36.521|
|23||22||Arjun Maini||Jenzer Motorsport||37.184|
|25||31||Alessio Deledda||Campos Racing||53.135|
|Ret||10||Ferdinand Habsburg||ART Grand Prix||Retirement|
|Ret||33||Leonardo Pulcini||Campos Racing||Retirement|
|Ret||5||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Theodore Racing||Retirement|
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