Antonio Felix Da Costa of Portugal won the Macau Grand Prix at the third time of asking on Sunday, leading almost from start to finish in his country’s former colony.
The Carlin driver, part of Formula One team Red Bull’s Junior Team, started on pole but briefly lost the lead to Mucke Motorsport’s Felix Rosenqvist of Sweden at the start.
Having regained top spot, he held off Rosenqvist’s challenge throughout the 15 laps, the hairiest moment being when the safety car left the track on lap six and Rosenqvist tried to slipstream past him.
Debutant Alex Lynn of Fortec capped his superb first visit to the Guia circuit with third place. Last year’s winner Daniel Juncadella went out on lap 3.
It caps an excellent 2012 for Lisbon’s Da Costa, 21, who was third in the GP3 series and fourth in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, and impressed for Red Bull at the Formula One Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi this month.
Da Costa, who finished sixth in Macau in 2010 and did not finish because of a gearbox problem last year, said “I’m speechless, but at the same time there’s so much to say.
These two guys… it was an unbelievable race. We’re at slightly different levels but every lap was on the limit, really impressive, especially considering Alex is a rookie.
“I have to thank my team Trevor Carlin and Volkswagen who’ve put an unbelievable package together and especially Red Bull who picked me up halfway through the season and it’s been an unbelievable finish since.
"I think we put on a great show there today.”
Lynn surpassed all his expectations against far more experienced rivals and admitted: “For those two not to make a single mistake is so impressive and I was just happy to stay with them and get on the podium, it’s been an amazing week.”