Formula 4 drivers faced tough weather conditions for their qualification race in Macau, which contributed to it being shortened and run mostly behind the safety car.
Pre-race rain made the Guia circuit so wet that some even crashed behind the safety car, and the spray added difficulty to judging braking and turning for the corners at the start and end of the lap where water can accumulate after draining down from other areas of the track.
Poleman Arvid Lindblad faced no spray in his lights-to-flag win, but he was first to find out grip levels at each corner.
“It wasn’t easy. We had a couple of laps to grid where I got a bit of a feeling for it, but still we didn’t do [turns] one, two and I arrived at T3 with less speed,” he said. “On the first safety car restart, the last two corners were a bit sketchy, and then it was an unknown in the first few corners. I almost hit the wall in the last corner, and in T1.
“Then I sort of settled into the rhytmn. Okay, we only really did one lap, but I felt quite comfortable and with the visibility it was a lot easier for me than the others behind. So then I could just drive around and keep it out of the walls.”
Every corner was “a bit of an unknown” for him. “Even Macau in the dry is difficult enough, risky enough, then when I woke up this morning and went downstairs and saw it was wet, I knew it was going to be an interesting race.”
For Freddie Slater, his team-mate in the Prema-run Theodore Racing, “it wasn’t easy” being close behind.
“It’s probably a lot harder from the back as well,” Slater said. “It was a bit lively watching Arvid on those restarts, he was getting a bit close to the walls, so I was [reacting by] taking it easy.”
He achieved his objective of getting a top-four starting spot for the main race later today, and thinks he has “a bigger chance now” of beating Lindblad to victory.
Charles Leong completed a team podium lockout. He was initially behind R-ace GP’s Hadrien David, but after he crashed out had less of a spray issue having been gapped by the top two.
“For turn one, I was trying to stay in the slipstream of David, and I saw a little space on the inside. But I actually just can’t see the road and there’s a huge puddle there, and I nearly spun myself on the straight,” recalled Leong.
“That was quite a big save for me, and later on it was just keeping on with the pressure. I know I have the pace, so I was pretty patient with him. I think the result is satisfactory.”
“Starting in third place [later] is a very good position because in Macau there’s quite a long straight after the start. Well if it’s dry, I think it’s pretty good,” he added.