Daniel Juncadella wants Macau Grand Prix repeat
The undisputed king of Formula Three racing is eager to match the feats of Edoardo Mortara
Daniel Juncadella has nothing to prove in Formula Three, but is still doing everything to become only the second driver to win two Macau Grands Prix, even squeezing in extra practice on a computer game at the GP Museum yesterday.
"I've got this one at home," the Spaniard said after another victory, this time digital, over the Guia circuit. It hardly seemed fair on the AI opponents, given that this year Juncadella has won the Formula 3 Euro Series, the FIA European Formula 3 Championship and the prestigious one-off Masters of Formula 3 race, which pits the best drivers from around the world against each other.
Just one race remains before he leaves Prema Powerteam for bigger things, and it's one he wants more than any.
"Macau is the highlight of the year. I've been looking forward to it all year. Even racing for championships, this is the race," he said. "I'm coming here really confident but you have to be realistic, this race is special for every driver and that makes it really difficult.
"We have a good chance to be in the top five, top three and hopefully, with a bit of luck, we can win it again."
To do that, Juncadella will have to emulate Edoardo Mortara, who won back-to-back titles (2009 and 2010). Back in Macau to defend the City of Dreams Macau GT Cup he won last year, Mortara will have no problem if his achievement is matched.
"Daniel's got a good chance, he's the F3 Euro Series champion and one of the favourites for sure," Mortara said. "I like Daniel and I wish him good luck, as a racer and as a competitor you need to accept that records are always broken."
Juncadella could now follow Mortara into DTM racing as he seeks Formula One recognition.
Only three drivers have won the Macau GP and the Masters in the same season and two, David Coulthard and Takuma Sato, went on to F1. Juncadella tested with Ferrari last week.
"F1 is where we all want to be, but, being realistic, nowadays it's really hard and you need to have the economic support especially," he said. "I've had a taste of it and really liked it, so I'm really looking forward to it.
"I still need to see what my sponsor Mercedes want to offer me, DTM or GP2. I think GP2 is a good step because we have the same tyres and so on, so you get a good feel for it, but on the other hand DTM is the Formula One of touring cars."
Among those out to stop Juncadella making it four trophies out of four are some exciting Macau debutants: German teenager Pascal Wehrlein, rookie of the year in the Formula 3 Euro Series; Ferrari F1 protégé Raffaele Marciello; Jack Harvey, the first Briton to win the British F3 Championship in eight years; and Japan F3 Championship winner Ryo Hirakawa. First practice and qualifying is today with the main event on Sunday.