Fredie Slater topped practice for Formula 4 South East Asia’s non-championship round on the streets of Macau.
Drivers were given 45 minutes to learn the Guia circuit, but predictably the session was interrupted by yellow and red flags that reduced running.
All but two drivers, Jaden Pariat and Marco Lau, headed out straight away and the first laptimes were set six minutes in. R-ace GP’s Raphael Narac set a 2m37.341s to lead AGI Sport’s Jack Beeton by 0.533 seconds. Moments later yellow flags were waved at turn seven, then red flags appeared as Thomas Leung’s car was craned away.
The session was stopped for just over five minutes, and Beeton was put under investigation for stopping in the pitlane’s fast lane. Although 10 had set laps before the red flags appeared, only two had done so at pace.
That changed after the restart as 17-and-a-half minutes in Slater posted a 2m30.922s to go fastest by 2.586s over Beeton. Arvid Lindblad made it a one-two for the Prema-run Theodore Racing team just 16 seconds later as he set a 2m33.303s. New McLaren junior Bianca Bustamante went fifth fastest, 9.223s off the pace.
Linblad was second for approximately seven seconds before Martinius Stenshorne (Pinnacle Motorsport/B-MAX Racing) got within 0.616s of Slater, then there was just another 16s before practice was red flagged. Two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Charles Leong snuck in the third fastest time before the flags appeared.
This time the issue was Lau stopping at the hairpin with a broken front wing and Tiago Rodrigues driving into the back of him. Marcus Cheong then arrived at the corner and had nowhere to go, with Ka Kum Cui and Kaishun Liu next to encounter the blockade. Everyone was able to get going again and return to the pits.
The next green flag signal came 23-and-a-half minutes into the session, so within its second half, but drivers were denied the opportunity to improve their pace since two minutes later – just as flying laps were beginning – Lindblad binned his car at Lisboa and yellow flags waved at the corner thereon.
R-ace GP’s Hadrien David went down the escape road when he realised he could not turn in due to Lindblad’s stationary car in the way, and Enzo Yeh did the same.
There was a bit of a struggle to get Lindblad’s car craned away, with it rocking across the track while being suspended from above, and during this time race control decided to keep the track live despite the risk for marshals and for approaching cars. But it only took a minute to clear, and the track was fully green once again for two minutes before another incident 28 minutes in led to red flags.
Beeton had crashed heavily at Fisherman’s Bend, actually causing some damage to the bottom of the barriers, and the clock counted down while there was a struggle to remove his car from the barriers then lift it onto a flatbed truck.
With eight minutes of practice remaining, race control informed the paddock that “free practice will not be resumed, please clear the pitlane immediately”.
Although everyone but Pariat had set laps, the interruptions meant eight drivers didn’t get timed laps in.
Free practice results
|5||Jack Beeton||AGI Sport||2m33.508s||+2.586s||7|
|6||Raphael Narac||R-ace GP||2m37.341s||+6.419s||8|
|7||Rashid Al Dhaheri||Prema||2m38.746s||+7.824s||8|
|8||Kevin Xiao||Asia Racing Team||2m38.788s||+7.866s||7|
|10||Enzo Yeh||Asia Racing Team||2m39.597s||+8.675s||7|
|11||Bianca Bustamante||BlackArts Racing||2m40.145s||+9.223s||8|
|12||Miki Koyama||Super Licence||2m41.570s||+10.648s||8|
|14||Hadrien David||R-ace GP||2m50.825s||+19.903s||7|
|16||Marcus Cheong||Asia Racing Team||6m13.080s||+3m42.158s||5|
|17||Vivian Siu||Champ by R&B||6m19.486s||+3m48.564s||6|
|18||Thomas Leung||H-Star Racing||no time||1|
|19||Marco Lau||H-Star Racing||no time||1|
|20||Tiago Rodrigues||Asia Racing Team||no time||5|
|21||Ka Kum Chui||Champ by R&B||no time||6|
|23||Jaden Pariat||BlackArts Racing||no time||0|