SJM Prema Theodore Racing shows promise in first Macau Grand Prix qualifying
Driving for SJM Prema Theodore Racing, Marcus Armstrong qualified provisional fourth for the 66th edition of the Macau Grand Prix. The 19-year-old New Zealander navigated his way through heavy traffic in a session impacted by several disruptions.
As practice kicked off earlier in the morning, the Guia track proved to once again be in a league of its own in terms of challenges for the drivers, especially the high power and speeds delivered by the brand-new Formula 3 machinery. After dominating the opening session, Armstrong showed great potential and is now set to fight for the overall pole position on Friday morning.
Finishing fourth in practice, 20-year-old Robert Shwartzman faced a large amount of bad luck in qualifying 1. Traffic, mishaps and narrowly escaping damage after a late spin at Lisboa, meant the Russian struggled to progress finishing ninth fastest.
Making his debut in the FIA Formula 3 Championship car, Frederik Vesti showed impressive pace. The 17-year-old Dane quickly improved, running trouble-free and making gains, step by step, even in the most challenging situations to claim eighth.
SJM Prema Theodore Racing will be back on track tomorrow morning for practice 2 at 11:30 local time GMT +8, followed by the second qualifying session scheduled for the afternoon at 15:10, GMT+8.
#2 Marcus Armstrong
“Free practice was good and we were just quick. I didn’t push too hard or do anything special. Qualifying 1 was very much like a traffic jam and I couldn’t complete a single lap without catching traffic, but the potential was there. Now we will make some adjustments on the car and focus on tomorrow!”
#3 Frederik Vesti
“It was a good day for me, we started with almost no expectations. We had to get used to everything and get the car and tires to work. After a few laps, I started getting more and more comfortable with the car. In FP1 we finished P7 and we made good improvements during the run. In Q1 we finished P8. It could have been much better, but a red flag compromised the lap. I’m not stressed or rushed though. I’m here to learn so we take everything step by step.”
#5 Robert Shwartzman
“Unfortunately I couldn’t improve on the early lap-time because I couldn’t finish my lap without either traffic or a red flag. If I look at my sectors, I feel that technically I could have been in the top-3 without any problem. The car felt very good throughout the whole session with great balance. We have just been unlucky this time but hopefully tomorrow it will go better.”