Luke Browning claimed the FIA Formula 3 World Cup by winning an incident-filled Macau Grand Prix in which several frontrunners ended up in the wall.
The Hitech GP driver rounded off a brilliant performance at the Guia circuit after also winning Saturday’s qualification race. MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger and Theodore Racing’s Gabriele Mini joined him on the podium.
Browning held on to first place at the start with Mini immediately slotting into second place from third on the grid. Hitech’s Alex Dunne tried to recover second braking on the outside line at Lisboa, but found the barrier as he took too wide of an entry.
Further down the order, professional racers Marcus Armstrong and Dan Ticktum moved up to 19th and 20th place from 22nd and 25th respectively on the grid. Campos Racing’s Sebastian Montoya couldn’t get going from his grid position, and started the race from the pitlane five laps down. Despite Dunne’s crash, the track went green again before the end of lap one.
Action was briefly neutralised again on lap three of 15. With DRS already enabled, Dino Beganovic attempted to pass team-mate Mini on the outside into Lisboa. The Ferrari junior managed to get ahead of the Alpine junior, but could not stop his car in time and ended up in the barriers.
Mini continued in second and soon his other team-mate Paul Aron was under pressure from MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger and Mari Boya for third. Hauger made the move on Aron heading down to Lisboa on lap five, with Boya overtaking the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior the following lap.
On lap eight, Aron had a big hit into the walls in the Esses and his destroyed car finally came to a halt at turn 14. The rear axle had been ripped and the car caught fire, but Aron was able to jump out unharmed.
Campos’s Pepe Marti and Jenzer Motorsport’s Charlie Wurz, who had closed on the Estonian as he struggled for pace, suffered front wing damage and then punctures as a result of making contact with the wall while trying to avoid Aron’s car. Both were able to drive back to the pitlane holding their on-track position as the safety car had been deployed and then the race was red-flagged.
The race resumed almost an hour later once the track surface had been cleaned and several barriers repaired. The safety car led the field for two laps, then it was a rolling start for a four-lap sprint to the end.
Marti could restart from fifth as Campos was able to repair his car during the red flag, whereas Wurz stayed in the pitlane with terminal damage.
Hauger restarted brilliantly to overtake Mini around the outside at Mandarin. He then went for the lead at Lisboa, but Browning denied him with strong braking on the inside line.
Further down the top 10, reigning FIA F3 World Cup winner Richard Verschoor passed ART Grand Prix’s Laurens van Hoepen — who dropped from seventh to 10th — and Hitech’s Isack Hadjar to move up to sixth.
The safety car was deployed again on lap 13 as ART GP’s Nikola Tsolov crashed out at Fisherman’s Bend, and stayed out until the finish to guarantee victory went to Browning.
Main race results (15 laps)
|1||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||1h35m08.337s|
|2||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||+0.347s|
|3||Gabriele Mini||Theodore Racing||+0.699s|
|4||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||+1.038s|
|5||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||+1.309s|
|7||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+2.349s|
|9||Oliver Goethe||Campos Racing||+2.820s|
|10||Laurens van Hoepen||ART Grand Prix||+3.008s|
|11||Sophia Floersch||Van Amersfoort Racing||+3.398s|
|14||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||+5.012s|
|16||Christian Mansell||ART Grand Prix||+5.479s|
|17||Matias Zagazeta||Jenzer Motorsport||+5.731s|
|18||Marcus Armstrong||MP Motorsport||+6.861s|
|19||Noel Leon||Van Amersfoort Racing||+7.640s|
|20||Max Esterson||Jenzer Motorsport||+8.221s|
|21||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||+4 laps|
|22||Sebastian Montoya||Campos Racing||+5 laps|
|Ret||Charlie Wurz||Jenzer Motorport|
|Ret||Paul Aron||Theodore Racing|
|Ret||Dino Beganovic||Theodore Racing|
|Ret||Alex Dunne||Hitech GP|
|Fastest lap: Browning, 2m06.647s|