Felix Rosenqvist headed the SJM Theodore Racing by Prema attack in the first day of action for the 63rd running of the Macau Grand Prix by taking third position in the opening qualifying session.
The Swedish driver comfortably headed the morning free practice session and was confident of taking provisional pole position as he bids for a third successive Macau GP victory. But four separate red-flag stoppages hampered his efforts.
Nick Cassidy ended the session eighth fastest, the New Zealander bouncing back from a troubled free practice session, in which his car stopped on the circuit. But, like Rosenqvist, Cassidy also felt that the red flags prevented a higher position in qualifying.
European FIA F3 runner-up, Maximilian Gunther, had his first ever day of action on the Macau Guia circuit, finishing in 15th position, and confident of moving forward in the coming days.
# 1 – Felix Rosenqvist
“We waited to go out a bit later, and then there were a lot of red flags. We put on new tyres, and I only did one lap on them before it was red-flagged again. After that I went out again but the tyres were dropping off in performance. I had a better first sector because I got quite a good slipstream, and I managed to improve by a tenth of a second. But I think there’s a lot more to come.”
# 2 – Maximilian Gunther
“The goal was to drive clean and drive safe on my first day in Macau, and do as much mileage as possible. The result was not so important, and we all know that first qualifying is not the quickest if it stays dry for Friday. Still, I pushed more and I had a great feeling in the car. Unfortunately there was bad luck with the timing of the red flags, otherwise I would be nearer the front, but I feel really positive.”
# 3 – Nick Cassidy
“I traded fastest times with Felix early on, but my first two laps of the session were my only clear ones. I waited longer than Felix for new tyres, and then on my out-lap there came the red flag. Then on my next run I got traffic. And on my final run I was seven tenths up on my best lap and there was another red flag. It’s the best I’ve ever felt at Macau so it was such a frustrating session.”