Richard Verschoor has revealed he picked up steering damage from hitting the barriers on the way to his surprise Macau Grand Prix victory.
The circuit rookie started the FIA Formula 3 World Cup race in fourth place, but was up to second by the first braking zone at Lisboa. He then hounded poleman Juri Vips before passing him at a safety car restart, then held him off to win.
It was not just Verschoor’s first Macau appearance, as it was also the first time his MP Motorsport team had raced there too.
“It definitely is [the greatest win of my life],” Verschoor said.
“I’m not believing the feeling yet. I don’t really feel like I just won it, because it was just such a hectic race and I was under a lot of pressure. I’m still recovering a bit.
“It was a really tough race, Juri was really quick behind me. But I think everything I could have done, I did. I touched the wall a bit before the end, so the last four or five laps were with a bent steering wheel. It was a bit exciting.
“For the safety car restart, I prepped really well because I knew it was my only chance to get the lead. We had pretty good pace, but Juri was just a bit too fast for me. So I didn’t expect to then be able to keep him behind.”
Hitech GP driver Vips did come close to Verschoor, attempting to pass around the outside of Lisboa like he had, but was unable to find a way through.
“I saw he tried to do one final move, and then we had a big gap. But he could still close the gap [again] and I thought in the last two laps he’d able to fight me so I made sure I had good sector three and four to have a big enough gap to not get overtaken.
“Besides that, I just want to thank MP. It was the first year for them and also for me. I think we adapted really quickly to the track. I am just really happy with their performance and really happy with the opportunity they gave me.”
Verschoor, who apparently reported dizziness after driving the track for the first time in free practice, plans to return to Macau next year.
However he intends to move on from racing in FIA F3 full-time, having finished 13th in the championship this year and 15th in its predecessor, GP3, in a part-time 2018 campaign.