Max third fastest in combined qualifying session
Published on 14 November 2014 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen put in a good performance during the second qualifying session of the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix. In his Van Amersfoort Racing F3 racer, the Red Bull Junior clocked a 2:17.7 moving him into third place behind pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport) and Esteban Ocon (SJM Theodore Racing by Prema).
However, the 17-year-old Dutchman will not take third place on the grid. Due to a two-place grid penalty handed out on Thursday, both Max and Ocon will start Saturday’s qualifying race from fourth and fifth. Nevertheless, Max is content with his performance: “My fastest lap wasn’t perfect, I made a little mistake and there was some traffic. Nevertheless we are a lot closer to the front compared to Thursday, so I’m pretty happy with third”, said Max to Verstappen.nl
The second qualifying session was scheduled after the second free practice session of the weekend. Max had a useful FP2 in which he finished in fourth behind Rosenqvist, Jordan Kind and Ocon. “Free practice went well, the balance of the car wasn’t perfect but we’re improving all the time and understanding Macau more and more.”
The pace setters from the Friday practice session made up the front runners during the 40-minute qualifying session on the demanding street course in the east of China. F3 veteran Rosenqvist, who makes his fifth appearance at Macau, showed great pace throughout the session resulting in a sovereign pole. Lucas Auer benefited the most from Max and Ocon’s grid penalties and moves into P2, with Tom Blomqvist lining up behind him on the second row.
“Thursday’s qualifying wasn’t so bad, but we overheated the tyres too much. However, it gave us more experience. As a driver and team we don’t have the experience here at Macau so it’s important we learn and improve constantly and that’s what we are doing. So I’m pretty happy with P3.”
The results of the combined qualifying times (qualifying 1 and 2) grant Max P5 for the qualifying race on Saturday. Despite the grid drop, Verstappen junior is optimistic. “There are some opportunities to overtake so we can try some stuff with downforce settings to work our way up.”
The result of the ten lap race will set the grid for the FIA Intercontinental Cup, the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.