Starting at the eighth position from the starting grid, British driver Daniel Ticktum was not one of the favorites to win the F3 race. Yet the Motopark with VEB driver won against all expectations after race leaders Sérgio Sette Câmara and Carlin’s Ferdinand Habsburg crashed out at the final corner.
Sette Câmara, Ticktum’s teammate, initially appeared to be on course to win the race in its closing stages. He had moved to the front of the field on lap three after a full course yellow restart – deployed in Macau for the first time – which resulted in an incident between pole position man Callum Ilott of SJM Theodore Racing by Prema and front row starter Motopark with VEB’s Joel Eriksson.
After Habsburg passed Maximilian Günther on lap 11 to claim second place, the Austrian steadily closed in and was right behind Sette Câmara by the penultimate lap.
On the final lap, Habsburg was right alongside Sette Câmara on the run through Mandarin, but could not muster the momentum to get past under-braking into Lisboa. However, he maintained the advantage in terms of pace and saw an opportunity at the final corner, swooping around the outside of the Brazilian to seize the lead. But Hasburg carried too much speed into the corner and swiped the barriers on the exit, with Sette Câmara also losing control and crashing out. This left the door open for Ticktum to snatch the victory from Lando Norris after a strong ascent.
The key moment for Ticktum was on lap 14 when he moved from fifth to third position with a well-judged slipstream past Norris and Günther on the run down to Lisboa.
At the end of the race, Ticktum was a happy man, still finding it hard to believe that he had won “the most difficult race in the whole world.”
“That was an incredibly eventful race,” said a delighted Ticktum. “Up until this race I’ve had a pretty unlucky weekend, so I was due a bit of luck with what happened at the final corner – but there are no words to describe what it was like coming across the line.”
Ticktum obtained his best results of the year in Macau, marking a turning point in a season that had otherwise gone poorly for him, having ranked seventh in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. “I just kept calm and took every opportunity that I had,” he said.
Lando Norris, the 18-year- old winner of the F3 European Championship, was “a bit disappointed” with his second place.
“Macau is a race everyone wants to win… Second is not bad,” he acknowledged, adding that it was not “an ideal weekend” and he had to face a “tough race.”
“I saw smoke coming out of the last corner and I kind of was expecting something might happen, because everyone wants to win in Macau,” Lando Norris recalled.
Ralf Aron ended up third for Van Amersfoort Racing, claiming that “patience pays off sometimes. Ferdinand Habsburg managed to get across the line in fourth place despite only having three wheels on his car. PB
Ilott wins qualification race
Callum Ilot of SJM Theodore Racing by Prema pulled off a perfectly judged overtaking move on Motopark with VEB’s Joel Eriksson, four laps from the end of the F3 World Cup Qualification Race on Saturday. Ilott’s advantage was obvious as he pulled clear and took the checkered flag 7.9 seconds ahead of Eriksson.