Juri Vips has revealed that he found difficulties with his car during qualifying for the Macau Grand Prix qualification race, despite taking pole with a new track record.
The 19-year-old was fourth in FIA Formula 3 Championship this year with Hitech GP, in the same Dallara F3 2019 car he’s driving in Macau, and showed promise on his first grand prix appearance in 2018.
In Thursday’s qualifying session he was third fastest, setting a 2m06.943s lap, and improved by 1.946 seconds in Friday’s session to take pole despite initially struggling.
“I really, really wanted to – I know it wasn’t really important, but I really wanted pole in Macau, and it does really feel good,” said Vips.
“Unfortunately not that much of an importance, lets say [as it’s for the qualification race].
“In the first run I struggled a little bit – I was in P3 – I struggled a little bit more with the car balance, but then we changed the car for the second new tyre run, and then the car was really, really amazing. Huge shoutout to Hitech for that.”
Vips’ 2m04.997s pole lap, with a 109.5mph average speed, was 0.379s faster than closest rival Robert Shwartzman (Prema) and over 4.1mph quicker than the record set by Dan Ticktum last year. Ticktum went on to dominate both the qualification race and the grand prix itself.
“Tyre degredation has been relatively low all weekend. I don’t think it’s going to be that challenging in the race, it’s just keeping out of the walls and keeping the focus. Just doing a solid job.”