Macau Grand Prix 2018 results: Dan Ticktum avoids stray dog on track but still takes Formula Three pole
- Dan Ticktum darts wide to avoid dog on track at Guia Circuit
- Red Bull junior still takes pole in qualification race despite hairy moment
Dan Ticktum is on pole position for the Macau Grand Prix after easing to victory in Saturday’s qualification race – but had a hairy moment when he was forced to avoid a stray dog.
The Red Bull junior, 19, was leading the field through the mountain section of the Guia Circuit on lap three but suddenly had to dart wide when the dog ran across in front of his Dallara-Volkswagen on the racing line at Dona Maria.
“The dog. Well, I feel like somebody’s tried to set me up to try to make it more difficult for me,” Ticktum said, jokingly.
The safety car was deployed while track staff retrieved the dog.
— Eder Lozada (@EderFLozada) November 17, 2018
“You just have to treat it like any other incident,” Ticktum added. “The safety car comes out, and you’ve just got to stay calm and focus on getting a good restart and keeping everything up to temperature.
“Pretty interesting, but I managed to deal with it quite well. I didn’t hit it at least, so there you go. I was the first one to see it as well.”
The Motopark driver had been on pole for Saturday’s qualification race but Ferrari protégé Callum Ilott took the lead on lap one having slipstreamed his way past Ticktum around the outside of Mandarin.
But Ticktum managed to pass Carlin F3’s Ilott around the outside of Lisboa on the second, before the dog incident.
Ticktum got straight back to work after the restart and was 0.863s ahead of Ilott when they crossed the start/finish line.
“My intention initially was to finish in the top three, to put us in a good position for tomorrow. But it was clear in the first lap that our pace was a bit stronger,” Ticktum said.
“I really tried to nail the last sector, and get some good exits out of the last two corners, which I did and managed to get him [Ilott] back. It was pretty close.”
Ilott was later overtaken by Ticktum’s Motopark teammate Joel Eriksson, giving the race leader an extra headache.
“While Callum was behind I was pulling away quite easily, and to be honest I was saving tyres for the last phase of the race because last year we really struggled.
“This year the track seems to be much better. As soon as I saw Joel behind – I think he was in the quicker car in that race – I upped my ante a little bit. It was enough to pull a little bit of a gap, and then on the last lap I cruised around.”
Eriksson will start on the front row in Sunday’s race after holding off Ilott, who finished third, but European champion Mick Schumacher had to settle for sixth place.
Aside from the dog, there were a few other incidents during the race, though none which required the safety car.
TODA Racing’s Sena Sakaguchi did not even make it one lap before crashing out at Maternity Bend.
TOM’s Ritomo Miyata then saw his Dallara-Toyota lifted from the track after hitting the wall at Lisboa on lap seven, where Van Amersfoort Racing’s Frederick Vesti also crashed out.