Macau Grand Prix 2018 results: Dan Ticktum on pole as Mick Schumacher locks up twice in qualifying after topping practice
- Dan Ticktum produces two stunning late laps at Guia Circuit
- Schumacher locks tyres twice in Formula Three qualification race
Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum will start Saturday’s qualifying race for the Formula Three Macau Grand Prix on pole after two stunning late laps saw him pip Ferrari protégé Callum Ilott.
Mick Schumacher, the champion of Europe and son of Formula One great Michael Schumacher, had led for most of the weekend in free practice but locked up twice in the second qualifying session on Friday.
The Prema Powerteam driver is hoping to follow in his seven-time Formula One champion father’s footsteps by winning at the Guia Circuit, but will have to start the qualification race from ninth after finishing 1.4 seconds off Ticktum’s time.
Motopark driver Ticktum, the 2017 winner who topped Thursday’s qualifying for provisional pole, surged from ninth place to first on his penultimate lap before finding another two tenths of a second to beat his own leading lap time with 2:09.910s.
“I just got a chance to put everything together,” the 19-year-old told a press conference after a dramatic session that saw red flags, pile-ups and a full course yellow with a couple of minutes left.
“I wasn’t overly worried … I tried to get the gap as best as possible after the full-course yellow, I knew it would be my only shot.
“I got a 10.1 [a lap of 2:10.1s], luckily I got another lap after that and managed to iron out a couple of mistakes.
“This year the track seems to be considerably better than last year, we don’t seem to use the tyres as much. You get a couple more laps on the tyres, three or four.”
Carlin F3 driver Ilott thought he had done enough to beat his fellow Briton to pole, but was just happy still to have his car in one piece after narrowly avoiding a pile-up at the Guia Circuit’s Police bend.
“I had to stop afterwards and catch my breath – you can’t break any harder because you’ll just go straight in the wall,” the 20-year-old said.
“I tried to just roll the speed and keep it to the right. I thought there’s no way I would go through it [the gap], but I made it.”
He added: “That last lap I was up considerably but it would’ve been hard to beat him [Ticktum]. It was close, I would’ve given him a run for his money, but then there was the accident at Police, I was still recovering from that.”
In the final session of the evening, Mercedes-AMG driver Raffaele Marciello put himself on pole for Saturday’s GT World Cup qualification race after snatching victory from Augusto Farfus.
“It has been a difficult weekend for us, it’s not too easy with the traffic,” the Italian said. “The car was amazing, I have to thank my team.
“It’s still a long weekend. We have to focus. But at the moment the car is really good. I was able to put a good lap together, maybe I can do better.”
Earlier, Peter Hickman took his first pole for Saturday’s Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix after leaving Aspire-Ho by Bothams Racing BMW teammate Michael Rutter trailing with a qualifying time of 2:23.904s.
“The bike’s been working really nice, really good from the first practice,” Hickman said. “I’m quite happy with the setting. I’m riding the same bike I rode last year and it’s making life a bit easier.
“I’m sure the race is going to be a lot closer than what the qualifying was today. Fingers crossed we’ve got our head down early on and see what happens.”
Rob Huff won a dramatic shoot-out for the Macau Guia race pole from Esteban Guerrieri, as World Touring Car Cup leader Gabriele Tarquini crashed in Q1.
Having secured his first pole of the weekend for race one in Friday’s morning session, Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Huff was first in all three parts of second qualifying.
The nine-time winner known as the “King of Macau” took his eighth pole overall at the Guia Circuit.
Huff had been 0.097s down on Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic driver Guerrieri through the first two sectors of his final lap in Q3, and then knocked the left wing mirror off his Volkswagen Golf GTI after scraping a barrier.
But Huff put together a sensational third sector to close on Guerrieri’s benchmark, then crossed the line 0.374s clear in 2:29.660s to again deny the Honda driver, who thought he had done enough.
“It was more dramatic inside the car than outside, I can assure you,” Huff told a press conference. “It’s my girlfriend’s first time in Macau, sorry for giving her a heart attack.
“For me it’s the toughest track in world. Everyone has done well to survive the pressure of a one lap qualifying system here. It’s intense.
“We managed to survive. The nerves and pressure kicked in, you make mistakes. It could’ve been over but I’m just so pleased for my team, it’s brilliant to come here and finish the season on a high after winning in Japan.
“Macau is Macau, it’s a huge lottery. But testament to the hard work of the team.”