F3: Formula 3 through the hole of the needle, Ticktum in the repetition in Macau
Fomule 3 is inextricably linked to the rich tradition of Macao
Following its success last year, Dan Ticktum won the FIA Formula 3 World Cup for the second consecutive time, as the official Formula 3 race status, the & # 39; Macau Grand Prix & # 39 ;, has been several years. A great success for the Briton of the German Motopark team, who has already earned enough points for his highly coveted license, which allowed him to compete in Formula 1 due to his victory in Macau. Ticktum may even be testing Abu Dhabi this weekend. The Swedish Joel Eriksson, after a season as a BMW factory driver, returned in Formula 3, completed the Motopark success by finishing second. Frenchman Sacha Fenestraz, with the colors of comic hero Michel Vaillant, came in third. But even more important is the fact that Van Amersfoort driver Sophia Flörsch does things well after a sudden accident, the consequences of which could have been even greater.
Text: René de Boer (from Macau, Twitter: @renedeboer)
In the blink of an eye, there was something to be seen in the upper left corner of the screen, but it was not clear for long, because the control was already shifting to a different camera perspective. Moments later, the white-yellow car of the Japanese Sho Tsuboi was shown, stranded on piles of tires near Lisbon. Normal business in Macau, nothing special. Until it was expanded on a safety fence, behind which are usually put on the road, and further back a platform for photographers. It took a while until it became clear what exactly could be seen there: a Formula 3 car behind the fall barriers. Immediately the image was turned off, but it was immediately clear that something was completely wrong here.
Waiting for more clarity
This started a waiting period for clarity. The race was interrupted, the cars entered the pit lane one by one. Based on the lack of industry schedules, you can quickly determine who is involved in the accident, in this case Van Amersfoort driver Sophia Flörsch. Chinese journalists in the media center looked for short films via Wechat and Weibo and quickly saw: viewers at the big stand in Lisbon uploaded their images. In fact, images we would rather not see. The exact origin of the accident we did not see, but it must have been that Flörsch's car got in touch with Jehan Daruvala's, then backed away behind the rocks inside the bend and then went to the other side. of the work was released. In doing so, Flörsch crashed into Tsuboi's car and fell on his back on the FIA safety fence and in the construction of scaffolding for photographers.
For Sophia Flörsch, her debut in Macau was hopeful
Prema's driver Guanyu Zhou later reported that for Lisbon, the yellow warning lights for the safety-car phase were still in Lisbon, while the race was already loose at the end of the lap. Daruvala might have braked and Flörsch could not avoid colliding with the Indian's slow wagon. Immediately the more serious suspicions made the rounds, but it was clear relatively quickly that everything was relatively noticeable. Flörsch, Tsuboi, two photographers and a workstation were aware and were taken to the hospital for further treatment. In Flörsch there seemed to be a broken spine. If this is the only injury, she can speak absolutely of happiness. Tsuboi had pain in the loins, which is being investigated later. The affected workstation has a lesion on the face and a broken jaw, both photographers came out with a torn liver and a concussion, respectively.
Dan Ticktum had a clear weekend
Obviously, the importance of a race becomes very relative in such a moment, but when there was more clarity on the situation of those involved, the game was resumed. There was not much spectacular action: Dan Ticktum, who had won well on Saturday in the qualifying race, again demonstrated his ability and the potential of the Volkswagen engine, which was a class apart at the last presentation in Macau. In the presence of Volkswagen sporting director Sven Smeets, the brand, which after Macau ended its involvement in Formula 3 as an engine supplier, won its sixth street circuit victory since 2009 and the eleventh in Formula 3 in Macau, initiated in 1983.
Ticktum wins Macau's second consecutive year
With Ticktums Motopark team mate Joel Eriksson in second place and Carlin rider Sacha Fenestraz in third was the entire stage, even for Volkswagen-powered riders. For Ticktum, a repeat of his victory in Macau was a satisfaction for a somewhat frustrating European Championship season in which he started strong but eventually had to recognize his superior in Mick Schumacher. "Particularly another batch of tires in the second half of the season caused us a lot of problems, which meant less performance," said Ticktum. "However, this victory in Macao is an excellent crowning of the season, it went well all weekend and I did not make a mistake, last year my victory was surprising after the crazy final, now I've worked for it and I can also enjoy more. "Next year, Ticktum will appear in all probability in the Japanese Super Formula series, but he does not rule out that he will return to Formula 3 for Macau, as team-mate Eriksson did this weekend. "No one has won Macau three times in a row, it's a good challenge," said the Briton.
In Michel Vailliant's colors, Sacha Fenestraz finished third
Eriksson once again mentioned a Formula 3 car and made an important contribution to the success of Timo Rumpfkeil's team, who after winning the Masters in Zandvoort with Max Verstappen in 2014, now the Macau Grand Prix has won twice. For third-placed Sacha Fenestraz, the podium is a good comeback after a difficult EC season in which he started well with a win for his own public in Pau but just as the rest of the Carlin team did not leave the picture. "Last year I made my debut here, the story of my race was fundamental to the recently released book by Michel Vaillin & # 39; Macau & # 39 ;, the first Michel Vaillant who also comes out in Chinese. , that fits well … and is a good conclusion, "according to the French.
European champion Mick Schumacher had little to do in Macau, where his father Michael and Uncle Ralf won earlier.
The Prema drivers, who in previous years won in Macau with Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Lynn and Daniel Juncadella, did not play a significant role this time around. Also the European champion Mick Schumacher could not offer a replica against the superior power of the Motopark team. The miracles of the Van Amersfoort drivers, all three without experience in Macau, should not be expected, it was clear beforehand. Sophia Flörsch did the best in training sessions, but in qualifying she hit the guardrail once and it did not really help. For Keyvan Andres, the main race ended on the first lap, when he suffered damage in the chain collision in Lisbon. Flörsch's story was exposed elsewhere, so Frederik Vesti was the only one of the three to finish, he closed his Macau debut as 16th.
& # 39; Class of 2018 & # 39; the future of Formula 3 in Macau is still extremely uncertain
What the future of Formula 3 in Macau seems to still be in the stars. The cars that leave the FIA in Formula 3 next year, but follow the GP3 class, are very fast for what is allowed in Macau. The Japanese championship will continue to include existing cars next year, which will be ratified until 2019, and this is also the path that the planned European series organizers want to follow in the DTM support act. This would theoretically also have to create a starting field for Macao, but if this works in practice, the future will have to be proven.