Arvid Lindblad says he is “quite surprised” by how much of a pace advantage he held over his opposition in Formula 4 qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix.
The Red Bull junior took pole for the non-championship F4 South East Asia round on the streets of Macau by a huge 0.549 seconds, and his second-best lap would have still earned him pole by 0.274s. Second to fourth place was covered by 0.397s.
“My engineer told me when I crossed the line to start the last lap that the reference was 1m24.9s, and I saw on the dash I did a 1m25.0s. But I knew there’s a lot of evolution, both track and driver, so I knew that I had to do another lap just to be safe,” said Lindblad.
“To be honest, even when I crossed the line I wasn’t sure of the fact that I would be on pole because I know there’s so much improvement throughout the session.”
He added: “Super delighted [to get pole]. Such a iconic track, iconic event, 70th anniversary. I think the first proper year, you would say, of F4 [having a seperate race to the grand prix]. We still have two races to go, so I don’t think it means too much in the general scheme of things. But really happy. And I was quite surprised by the margin. I didn’t expect it to be that much.”
Freddie Slater, his team-mate in the Prema-run Theodore Racing line-up, was second fastest and thinks he can be closer to Lindblad in Sunday’s two races.
“It’s a 2m20s lap, so there’s a lot to play for. A mistake on my behalf in the last lap kind of affected it,” he said post-qualifying.
“It was all to play for, I think we have pace from this morning. Track evolving so much, it’s so tight, all the top boys are all in range so it’s about all putting the lap together. And the racing is a different story. Got a massive straight to get through on lap one, and then we see from then. I think the tow is quite a big part here, so we’ll have to see how that pans out.”
R-ace GP’s F4 returnee Hadrien David qualified third and commented that “I don’t feel very comfortable in between all of the Premas” on the grid.
“There will be many Premas around me tomorrow. For sure, the [desire] would be to have a good start and try to fight with them, but they have a crazy top speed in sector one,” he said. “[I have] to fight in lap one, and see what happens next.”
Two-time Macau GP winner Charles Leong was fourth fastest on his first ever outing in the Tatuus T-421 car.
“It’s good to see international drivers back here,” said the local talent. “To see where I can improve as well. That’s the first time in this car, so still improving every lap, lap-by-lap, so I just need [to be patient] and I think the laptime will be there.”