Felix Rosenqvist scored a superb second place in the 63rd running of the Macau Grand Prix from sixth on the grid with SJM Theodore Racing by Prema.
The Swede, two times a winner of Macau in 2014 and 2015, immediately moved up to fourth position on the opening lap. He then passed Kenta Yamashita for third into the Lisboa corner on lap three.
With two laps remaining, Rosenqvist got into the slipstream of second-placed Sergio Sette Camara, before he overtook the Brazilian at Lisboa. He then set fastest lap as he cut the gap to race leader Antonio Felix da Costa, but fell short at the finish by an agonisingly close margin.
The result meant that SJM Theodore Racing by Prema took another podium finish in Macau to follow its 2013 and 2015 victories, with Theodore Racing still the record holder of Macau wins, with a total of eight.
It was an unlucky race for the team’s other two drivers. After an overnight engine change Nick Cassidy was forced to start from 28th and last on the grid. He stormed up to 11th before clipping the wall, putting him out of the race. Meanwhile, Maximilian Gunther started ahead of Cassidy in 25th on the grid, only to be sidelined with suspension damage resulting from a puncture.
Felix Rosenqvist: “In the qualification race we were not happy with the car, but from sixth on the grid we had the advantage of nothing to lose. So we took a risk with the set-up of the car, and it paid off. We were flying on the track! I gained positions at each restart and then I got up to second. I gave it everything to catch Antonio, and I was pushing like hell, but it was not quite enough. Considering where we started, we can all be happy with this result.”
Nick Cassidy: “I made up a lot of places and then finally got up to 11th. I was rubbing my hands together, because finally I had a clear racetrack and I could push. I was catching the car ahead like crazy when I got just 2cm off line. I touched the inside wall, and that fired me to the outside wall – and with it being the quickest corner on the track the consequences were worse. It was my first crash at Macau in three years here, so it’s disappointing. I could have probably been in the top six, which from last on the grid would have been pretty good.”
Maximilian Gunther: “I got a good start, and passed four or five people, gaining places. Then in lap four I was about to overtake another car, pulled out of the slipstream, and my right-rear tyre got a puncture. I tried to come back to the pits, but the suspension had broken and I had to retire. I’m disappointed, because a top 10 was possible, but that’s racing. It was a great experience to do my first Macau with SJM Theodore Racing by Prema and I’ve learned a lot – I just had bad luck.”