Volkswagen Motorsport finished the 58th Macau Grand Prix with two podium positions with Brazilian Felipe Nasr and German Marco Wittmann finishing second and third respectively in a race dominated by safety car periods.
The Macau Grand Prix once again lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s toughest motorsport events with only 13 of the 29 starters completing the 15-lap main race and reaching the chequered flag. The safety car was deployed three times after accidents on the narrow street circuit.
A victim of these incidents was Marco Wittmann who, as winner of Saturday’s qualification race, representing the Volkswagen customer team Signature, started from pole position and effortlessly defended his lead. After the first of three safety car periods the young German, who was second overall in the Formula 3 Euro Series 2011, opened up a margin of three seconds and was on course for victory.
However, the safety car was deployed again to neutralize the race after two thirds distance and on the restart four of his closest rivals, including fellow Volkswagen team mate and Carlin driver Felipe Nasr, used the slipstream to overtake.
Over the course of the following laps Nasr moved up to second place from where he originally started the race. Wittmann’s fight back saw him move up from fifth to third place. The safety car joined the track a third time two laps before the finish. As a result it was clear the positions were fixed and the race finished behind the safety car. Joining winner Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-Benz) on the podium of the renowned invitation race were Felipe Nasr and Marco Wittmann who set the fastest lap.
Hannes van Asseldonk from Volkswagen partner team Hitech Racing celebrated a fantastic Macau debut. The Dutchman from the British Formula 3 Championship, powered like all brand team mates in Macau by a near 210 hp four-cylinder engine from Wolfsburg, improved from tenth on the grid to fifth at the flag. In contrast, Signature driver Daniel Abt was plagued by bad luck. The second German in the field had eyed a good result following a fight back in the qualification race from 16th to eighth. The 18-year old Kempten-based driver was an innocent victim in the start line accident and was forced to retire on the first lap. Danish driver Kevin Magnussen returned to the pits uninjured after suffering a heavy accident on lap 13.
Results, Macau Grand Prix, Chine; lap 6.120 km (3.803 mi)
|Pos||Driver||Team||Chassis / Engine||Time / Gap|
|2||F. Nasr||Carlin||Dallara-Volkswagen||+ 0.359s|
|3||M. Wittmann||Signature||Dallara-Volkswagen||+ 0.662s|
|4||Y. Sekiguchi||Mucke||Dallara-Mercedes||+ 1.378s|
|5||H. van Asseldonk||Hitech||Dallara-Volkswagen||+ 2.128s|
|6||W. Buller||Fortec||Dallara-Mercedes||+ 3.301s|
|7||L. Foresti||Fortec||Dallara-Mercedes||+ 3.860s|
|8||J. Jaafar||Carlin||Dallara-Volkswagen||+ 4.062s|
|9||R. Bradley||TOM’S||Dallara-Toyota||+ 4.595s|
|10||A. Fong||Sino Vision||Dallara-Mercedes||+ 4.819s|
|11||P. Fantin||Hitech||Dallara-Volkswagen||+ 5.551s|
|12||K. Sato||Motopark||Dallara-Volkswagen||+ 6.534s|
|13||C. Huertas||Carlin||Dallara-Volkswagen||+ 8.336s|