Text: Philip Alvendia / Photos: Jet Rabe | posted December 03, 2014 16:16
An action packed Formula 3 season finale
In typical Macau GP fashion, the final Formula 3 race did not fail to excite. At the head of 28-car grid was Felix Rosenqvist alongside Esteban Ocon in second, Max Verstappen in third, Lucas Auer, Rosenqvist’s team mate in fourth and Tom Blomqvist in fifth position.
Just as the red lights had gone off, the action immediately began as the leaders were taking the first kink towards Mandarin Bend heading to the long straight towards Lisboa corner. Lucas Auer from fourth position made a pass at Mandarin Bend taking over the lead and putting Rosenqvist, who started from pole, in a tight position to fend off the attacks from Blomqvist and Ocon who had terrific starts.
As the cars approached Lisboa Corner, Auer and Blomqvist are side by side. Auer then locks up his brakes and overshoots the turn and Blomqvist briefly takes first position, but collides with Ocon as he turns in to Lisboa. Ocon and Blomqvist carry on after the collision and Auer is able to rejoin in fourth.
Blomqvist and Ocon were side by side towards the right turn on San Francisco Hill. Ocon then moves to the right to take the inside line to defend his position, but the earlier collision at Lisboa with Blomqvist had damaged his steering. As a result, he failed to turn in to San Francisco and takes Blomqvist with him to the wall. A pile up shortly follows as Ocon and Blomqvist’s cars partially block the track causing several collisions and Kanamaru’s car to be launched off the track in San Francisco Hill.
With the track blocked and Kanamaru’s car hanging by the wall at San Francisco Hill, the race was stopped and the remaining cars were ordered back to the starting grid to resume their original grid positions. Rosenqvist and Auer were among the lucky ones to survive the pile-up and were able to do the restart and resume their original positions.
The race recommenced with the safety car ahead and when it peeled off into the pits and the green flag was given, Rosenqvist resumed his position at the head of the field. Auer then slipstreamed Rosenqvist at the straight heading into Lisboa and took the lead again briefly. Then, he overshoots again at Lisboa giving Nick Cassidy second place behind Rosenqvist.
Rosenqvist had kept the lead and Cassidy, who was in second place, had been running unchallenged for quite a few laps, but at the closing stages Auer had managed to catch up with Cassidy. At the run towards Lisboa, Rosenqvist managed to use the slipstream to pass Cassidy, but runs wide coming into Lisboa. With this, Cassidy regains the second position. Auer would again regain second position towards the end of the lap and keep it for a 1-2 finish for the Mucke Motorsport teammates powered by Mercedes-Benz.
Rosenqvist had been both lucky and consistent enough to win with a 4.3 second margin over Auer. But the drive of the day goes to Auer for providing the spectators with most of the action for the Formula 3 final race in the Guia Circuit.