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Roundup: Felix da Costa wins Macau Grand Prix

by Peter Allen

Photo: CGPM

Star of 2012 completes his remarkable season with a convincing victory in the prestigious Formula 3 race in the former Portuguese colony…

Antonio Felix da Costa has capped his outstanding 2012 campaign by winning the Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 race. Driving for Carlin, the Portuguese ace began the weekend – his first in a top-line F3 event for 12 months – by topping the first qualifying session. The second session saw rookie Alex Lynn better Felix da Costa’s time and claim pole position for the qualification race ahead of the Red Bull Junior, with 2011 winner Daniel Juncadella and Felix Rosenqvist sharing the second row.

A fast-starting Rosenqvist took the lead off the line, but Felix da Costa moved ahead a few corners later. He led the remainder of the ten-lap race, crossing the line 1.5 seconds ahead of Rosenqvist. Lynn completed the podium in third ahead of Carlos Sainz and Juncadella. Harry Tincknell was a strong sixth ahead of Pascal Wehrlein, Hannes van Asseldonk, Felipe Nasr and Alexander Sims.

Sunday’s main event was a similar story to Sunday. Rosenqvist once again got the best launch to take the lead, but Felix da Costa regained the place again at Lisboa. Following a safety car period, Rosenqvist looked for a way past at the restart but Felix da Costa held the inside line into Lisboa and maintained the lead. That’s how it remained until the end, with Felix da Costa keeping his Swedish rival at arm’s length for the rest of the 15 laps.

Lynn maintained third place for the duration of the race, and impressively stayed with the two leaders throughout, as did fellow rookie?Wehrlein in fourth. Juncadella’s hopes of retaining the title disappeared when he slid into the tyres at the final turn at the end of the opening lap, consigning him to retirement in the pits a lap later. Nasr completed the top five.

Pipo Derani made up several places at the start and the safety car restart to move up into sixth, and although he didn’t have the pace to stay with those in front he managed to keep the cars chasing him behind. Sainz recovered from a slow start to finish seventh, passing Raffaele Marciello, Tincknell and William Buller.