Macau F3: Vips takes controlled qualifying win
Red Bull protege Juri Vips took a controlled win in the qualification race for the Macau Grand Prix, as a first-lap pile-up took a number of potential contenders out of the running.
It was a near-perfect race for Vips, the Estonian Hitech GP driver avoiding the slipstream into Lisboa on the first lap before controlling the remainder of the 10-lap affair.
He managed to keep second-placed Robert Shwartzman (Prema) just out of the DRS zone, the gap to the Russian standing at 1.5s at the finish.
"I didn't want to take full risk at the beginning," said Vips. "The track changes overnight, so you couldn't immediately be at 100 per cent.
"You had to build it up a little bit. It's never really perfect, but there were no mistakes.
"I didn't expect starting from pole to be the best thing, but I really got a mega start and Robert didn't get the best one. I think that's why I led into the first braking zone.
"I think if people around me get a good start tomorrow it'll be a bit harder, but I'll try my best."
FIA F3 champion Shwartzman, meanwhile, admitted he didn't quite have enough to take the fight to Vips.
"It wasn't the best, but it wasn't bad. It definitely wasn't as good as Juri's start," said SMP Racing-backed Shwartzman of his start.
"Juri was quick at the beginning, he built the gap. Towards the end I started to catch him, but it wasn't enough to get into the DRS."
A fast start set up a surprising podium for Christian Lundgaard, the Dane finishing a lonely third for ART Grand Prix.
Dutchman Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) finished fourth, making one of very few passing moves at the front of the field on Formula 2 regular Callum Ilott (Sauber Junior Team) at Lisboa with two laps to go.
Dan Ticktum is facing an uphill battle if he's to win a third straight Macau GP as the Briton got caught up in a costly first-lap pile-up at Lisboa.
The crash started when Ticktum's Carlin teammate Logan Sargeant clipped Arjun Maini, whose Jenzer entry was subsequently fired into the wall.
That left a number of cars with nowhere to go, Jake Hughes (HWA) out on the spot while Ticktum, who was launched into the air, had to pit for repairs.
He managed to get to the finish, but was classified 27th and two laps down.
Sargeant survived the melee unscathed to finish sixth ahead Alessio Lorandi (Trident), DTM driver Ferdinand Habsburg (ART), David Beckmann (Trident) and Leo Pulcini (Campos).
Marcus Armstrong (Prema) was another driver to get delayed at Lisboa and went on to finish down in 17th place, just ahead of teammate Frederik Vesti.
|1||6||Juri Vips||Hitech Grand Prix||10||25'09.190|
|2||5||Robert Shwartzman||SJM Prema Theodore Racing||10||1.549|
|3||9||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||10||5.625|
|4||21||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||10||7.402|
|5||25||Callum Ilott||Sauber Junior Team||10||10.767|
|8||10||Ferdinand Habsburg||ART Grand Prix||10||13.200|
|10||33||Leonardo Pulcini||Campos Racing||10||25.551|
|12||19||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||10||28.233|
|13||23||Charles Leong||Jenzer Motorsport||10||32.905|
|14||27||Enzo Fittipaldi||Sauber Junior Team||10||33.676|
|15||11||Sebastian Fernandez||ART Grand Prix||10||34.261|
|16||8||Yuki Tsunoda||Hitech Grand Prix||10||34.698|
|17||2||Marcus Armstrong||SJM Prema Theodore Racing||10||35.403|
|18||3||Frederik Vesti||SJM Prema Theodore Racing||10||35.653|
|19||24||Andreas Estner||Jenzer Motorsport||10||36.687|
|20||20||Liam Lawson||MP Motorsport||10||37.151|
|22||7||Max Fewtrell||Hitech Grand Prix||10||38.634|
|24||31||Alessio Deledda||Campos Racing||10||58.920|
|25||26||David Schumacher||Sauber Junior Team||10||1'37.059|
|26||29||Felipe Drugovich||Carlin||8||2 laps|
|27||30||Dan Ticktum||Carlin||8||2 laps|
|Ret||22||Arjun Maini||Jenzer Motorsport||0|
|Ret||32||Enaam Ahmed||Campos Racing||0|
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