by journalist and Master in Communication (UM), Bruna Pickler (cover photo credit/source: Formula 3 Championship)
Richard Verschoor performed a good work with brilliant defense, taking the title away from the favorite, Jüri Vips, as he conquered a sensational win at the Macao Grand Prix Formula 3 Suncity Group – FIA Formula 3’s World Trophy.
The race had a dramatic start, with Robert Schwartzman, whom started from the front row, being forced to drop it before reaching Lisbon Turn, in his first lap. The Russian touched Christian Lundgaard on his way to Mandarin, which resulted in an immediate rip of his front right tyre.
This allowed Vips to take the leadership, as Verschoor passed from the inside when approaching Lisbon Turn. Vips had then an advantage of nearly two seconds over Verschoor in the inaugural lap. However, his time advantage only lasted for so short, since Ferdinand Habsburg lost control of his car in the “Solitude Esses” Turn, on his third lap, calling the Safety Car too early.
The restart, on the eighth lap, was then bitter for Vips. The Estonian saw himself with no means to stop Verschoor from building an attack in his first two laps, having the Dutchman had reached the leadership at Lisbon turn himself.
The hope for a direct counter-attack vanished when Sophia Floersch stopped on track on her way to Mandarin, forcing the Virtual Safety Car to take place.
When the race was resumed and the DRS allowed, Vips put pressure to the leader, approaching Verschoor at Lisbon, with eleven laps already fulfilled.
But there was no chance for overtaking, having Verschoor worked on defense himself very well to become the first Dutchman to win Macao Grand Prix.
“To be honest, I still can not even believe it.” said the Dutchman. “It was an exciting race and I was under a lot of pressure. I thought that we had a good rhythm, but to be honest, I though that Jüri was too fast for me. I didn’t think I would be able to keep him behind me. I saw that he tried to do a huge overtaking, and, later I had the greatest advantage. But still, he was able to recover. I thought that by the second lap he would be able to fight with me. So, I made sure that I had a good third and fourth sectors, so I could have a good margin and not be overtaken by him.”
On the other hand, Vips was left devastated for having failed for so little, after a weekend that came to be just fairly good. “I am disappointed.” he said. “I thought it was a good weekend, except after it was resumed, right after the safety car. I don’t know what happened, I think I got something wrong with my tyres. Maybe the rubber swallowed detriment from the accident. Maybe… but that was how Richard passed in front of me. And later, then, my tyres were finished as I risked the remainders of it at the end. At the end I had many ‘flat spots’, I don’t know how I managed to keep Richard under pressure in the middle sector, since my tyres were finished.”
Logan Sargeant allowed two rookies to rise to the podium, having Carlin secured a good third place thanks to a good start from sixth on the grid, followed by an overtake over Lundgaard in Lisbon turn.
“I had a decent start.” said the American. “I went well on the Mandarin, and I believe I have gained a pair of positions there. After I had done a few overtakes and I passed the leaders. The situation of the Virtual Safety Cars was a real shame. I feel that, after that, I had lost confidence in the adherence I had on my tyres. But I am satisfied, we are coming back next year to win big.”
Lundgaard finished fourth, in front of Alessio Lorandi and Callum Ilott, while Liam Lawson had finished a brilliant day for MP Motorsport with a recovery from twentieth on the grid, up to seventh.
Marcus Armstrong was another driver who remained in attack, transforming his seventeenth place on grid’s start to eighth, whilst David Beckmann and Frederik Vesti complete the top ten.