SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA ensured it remains in the hunt for silverware ahead of the 65th Macau Grand Prix following a solid team performance in today’s Qualifying Race, led by Mick Schumacher in sixth position.
With today’s results determining grid positions for the all-important Macau Grand Prix on Sunday, the emphasis was primarily on ensuring drivers made it to the chequered flag.
Though this was a task made trickier by various incidents occurring during the 10-lap race, not least the appearance of a dog on the track which forced a safety car period, the team’s five drivers remained focused on the task in hand.
At the chequered flag, Schumacher led SJM Theodore Racing’s efforts after capitalising on a strong start to rise from ninth to seventh on the opening lap before gaining a further spot to cross the line in sixth position. The result places him on row three for Sunday’s 65th Macau Grand Prix.
Marcus Armstrong maintained his starting position to finish eighth as the second best-placed rookie, while Ralf Aron and Robert Shwartzman impressed after recovering from difficult opening laps to overtake several cars en route to ninth and tenth respectively.
There was however disappointment for Guanyu Zhou after he was forced to retire on the final lap. The Chinese racer started fifth and had been running strongly in the lead pack when an error led to him touching the barrier, causing damage to his car.
All focus now turns to tomorrow’s 65th Macau Grand Prix at 15:30 (GMT +8). At a track where anything can happen it is set to be another iconic race and one not to missed. Catch it live on the Theodore Racing website.
Theodore Racing Managing Director, Mr David Kennedy, said: “It was a tough race, but we are optimistic the SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA drivers have the pace to make gains and challenge for a strong result in the 65th Macau Grand Prix. Mick produced a great performance to put himself in a better position for tomorrow, plus we will have good strength in numbers with his team-mates starting just behind. We have some work to do, but as we all know anything can happen in Macau!”
“I clipped the inside wall at high speed on the last lap and that put me in the outside wall and sliding down the track. It’s a shame because the speed was there and it was a pretty big crash. Now I just want to get back on-track and enjoy the last race.”
“I think we can still achieve a lot and we have the potential. We are going to work hard to improve and we will be fully ready and motivated for the Grand Prix. Anything can happen here really as we have seen today and yesterday and I’m just looking forward to the race. This really is a special place and I love coming here.”
“I had a couple of chances where I could have gained a couple of positions, but unfortunately we were missing a bit, especially on the straight, and we have to check it out. We are really good in the corners but I got stuck behind a really slow car and in the second sector there was no way to go by despite he was 2 seconds a lap slower. We will work hard to get the most out of tomorrow’s race.”
“The lights ran for a long time and the clutch overheated so I stalled. Luckily I pushed the button very fast and made up the positions I had lost before turn 3 so I stayed P8. Vips was coming so fast on a straight line and I could not keep him behind. Then Guanyu crashed in the last lap so we got up to P8 again. It’s not going to be easy tomorrow, but it’s not impossible.”
“I got a really good start but then got blocked on the straight and that cost me several positions. After that I tried to gain as many positions as possible and I got some nice overtakes in Lisboa. The pace in the race was good but we lacked a bit in terms of straight line speed. It was a bit difficult today, but we look forward to doing our best in the last race.”