Macau, China, 22 Nov – Italian driver Edoardo Mortara took a hard-fought victory in the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday after triumphing in a race-long duel with Signature team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay.
The 22 year old Italian had started from third on the grid, but a good start allowed him to move past front-row starter Marcus Ericsson (TOM’S) and pole position man Vernay on the run down to Lisboa.
The race was stopped a few moments later, however, when the track was blocked following a multiple-car collision caused when Carlin’s Daniel Ricciardo crashed into the wall at the Solitude Esses and was clipped by a number of other cars.
At the restart, Mortara got away cleanly but his advantage was not enough to prevent Vernay getting into his slipstream and overtaking him into Lisboa.
From there, the Signature pair were locked in a very tight battle for the lead – although it seemed Vernay had done enough as Mortara could not get close enough in the final corners of the lap to get a slipstream down the main straight.
However, coming out of the Melco Hairpin on lap 11, Vernay made a mistake – which allowed Mortara to close up on him and swoop past into the lead into Lisboa on lap 12.
From there, Mortara was able to pull away and take the victory – which came on the same day that fellow Italian Gabriele Tarquini became FIA World Touring Car champion.
Briton Sam Bird finished third, having moved up the field from seventh on the grid. He was fifth in the early stages of the race, but took fourth from Ericsson on lap 12.
He then moved up another place on the final lap when third place runner Valtteri Bottas slowed with a wheel problem. Ericsson finished fourth, with Bottas fifth.