Britain’s Daniel Ticktum driving a Motopark with VEB Dallara Volkswagen took the chequered flag in a sensational win in Macau Grand Prix’s main event Sunday afternoon, the FIA Formula 3 World Cup, passing teammate Sérgio Sette Câmara of Brazil and Carlin driver Ferdinand Habsburg of Austria, who both crashed on the R-Bend of the Guia Circuit.
The FIA F3 World Cup was the final race of the four-day Macau Grand Prix.
British driver Callum llott of SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA, and Swedish Joel Eriksson, another teammate of Ticktum, started the race on pole and second position respectively while Ticktum was eighth. After beginning the race, Illot was shortly overtaken by Eriksson just before the Mandarin Oriental Bend, due to a slow start.
On the second lap, Sammarinese-Japanese driver Marino Sato crashed his Dallara Volkswagen on Fisherman’s Bend, and it brought out the “Full Course Yellow” (FCY), which was deployed for the first time in Macau, according to the Macau Grand Prix Organising Committee (MGPOC).
The Sporting Regulation of the 2017 FIA F3 World Cup states that “when the clerk of the course decides it is safe to end the FCY procedure, the message “FCY ENDING” will be displayed on the official messaging system and, at any time between 10 and 15 seconds later, yellow flags and “FCY” boards will be replaced by green flags, and drivers may continue racing immediately.”
After one lap under “Full Course Yellow”, the race was restarted at the Mandarin Oriental Bend. However, llott suffered technical problems and made a pit stop rejoining the race at the back of the pack. Eriksson also appeared to suffer technical problems and had to retire from the race on lap three. The race was paused again as the yellow flag was raised and the safety car was out for the next three laps. Sette Câmara took the lead after Eriksson retired.
According to the Macau Post Daily, on lap eight Habsburg overtook Germany’s Maximilian Günther of SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA, to take the second place. He was chasing Sette Câmara for the rest of the race. With the end of the race nearing, a few drivers were battling it out for third. On lap 14, the penultimate lap, Ticktum overtook two cars before the Lisboa Bend and got himself into third behind Sette Câmara and Günther.
The high-speed drama came at the final corner of the race. Sette Câmara and Habsburg were having a fierce battle turning into the very last straight. Sette Câmara took the bend too fast and crashed. Habsburg overtook and within sight of the chequered flag hit the wall on the R-Bend. This left Ticktum with nothing to do but cross the line, followed by another British driver Lando Norris of Carlin and Estonian Ralf Aron of Van Amersfoort Racing. Habsburg, a member of Austria’s former imperial dynasty, managed to nurse his vehicle over the line to come in fourth.
At the press conference after the podium celebrations, Ticktum, after his second Macau Grand Prix, said “that was an incredibly eventful race… I was due to a bit of luck with what happened at the final corner – but there are no words to describe what it was like coming across the line.” He added that his decisive overtaking on lap 14 and also his consistent pace were key to his win.
Ticktum finished the 15-lap race in 39:56.648 minutes.
It was the first podium finish for all three drivers in Macau.
Ticktum did not classify on his first visit to Macau last year.
Meanwhile, mainland Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu finished eighth in his Dallara Mercedes while Zhou’s teammate, Mick Schumacher, son of Germany’s legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, could only finish sixteenth and last among those who classified despite having completing the fastest lap in the race.
Both his father and uncle Ralf are former F3 Macau Grand Prix winners.
Both Zhou and Schumacher drive for SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA.