Maiden victory for Daniel Juncadella in the prestigious Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix, the grand finale of the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy
- Fourth win for the Mercedes-Benz F3 engine in Macau GP
- Mercedes-Benz junior development programme is a springboard to Formula One and DTM: eight of the 24 drivers on the 2011 F1 grid, and five of the nine Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers, have previously competed in Formula 3, all powered by Mercedes
Daniel Juncadella (Spain, 20, Prema Powerteam) won the 58th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday, securing his first victory on this challenging street circuit.
The Spanish driver concluded his second season in the Formula 3 Euro Series in third place overall, with four victories and 14 podium finishes. Four drivers using the Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine finished in the top seven of the Macau Grand Prix.
The Macau GP is one of the most prestigious races of the year. The event has been staged on the Guia street circuit since 1954, with Formula 3 regulations being adopted in 1983. Previous winners of the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix include F1 legend Ayrton Senna (1983), record F1 title winner and MERCEDES GP PETRONAS driver Michael Schumacher (1990), plus current Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers David Coulthard (1991) and Ralf Schumacher (1995). In three successive seasons between 2004 and 2006, victory in the Macau GP went to a driver powered by a Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine: Alexandre Prémat, Lucas di Grassi and Mike Conway.
Promoting young racing talent is a long-standing tradition at Mercedes-Benz. Since the Formula 3 Euro Series was first staged in 2003, drivers powered by Mercedes-Benz engines have won almost 80 percent of all races (149 victories out of 185, of which 113 were one-two finishes) and seven out of nine drivers’ championships. In the same period, 13 drivers made the step up to Formula One, having served their apprenticeship with Mercedes-Benz power in Formula 3. One third of the 2011 F1 starting grid learned their trade in Formula 3 with a Mercedes-Benz engine, including world champions Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, 2010 DTM champion Paul Di Resta, Adrian Sutil, Kamui Kobayashi, Sébastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari and Bruno Senna.
Similar successes have been achieved in other top racing series by former members of the Mercedes-Benz junior development programme. Of the nine Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers in the 2011 season, five started out in Formula 3 driving a Mercedes-Benz powered car.
Daniel Juncadella: “For me, victory in Macau is the perfect way to round off the season. It is a tremendous honour to win such a prestigious race that has seen such well-known names in our sport as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher finish on the top step of the podium. That’s what makes the Macau GP on this very demanding street circuit one of the highlights of the racing calendar. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Mercedes-Benz for the support they have given me along the way. Without the Mercedes junior development programme, the success I have had this season would not have been possible.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “A great performance by Daniel and the Prema Powerteam. The Formula 3 race in Macau is certainly the most prestigious on the calendar, and to win there against the world’s best Formula 3 drivers is consequently no mean feat and of great importance. Congratulations to Daniel and his excellent team. After winning the Formula 3 Euro Series with Roberto Merhi, our partner team Prema has delivered a fitting end to a great season with this victory in Macau. This represents a further major success for the Mercedes-Benz junior driver programme, from which have emerged world-class drivers such as 2008 Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and 2010 DTM champion Paul Di Resta.”