Courtney wins first leg

James Courtney secured victory in an exciting first leg of the 50th Macau Grand Prix as many of his main rivals fell foul of incidents and accidents. Despite not starting from pole position, the TOM'S driver kept his head to grab the lead from eventual second placed finisher Nicolas Lapierre on lap six to secure pole position for the second heat

Courtney wins first leg

Front row man Ryan Briscoe made the best start and, after banging wheels, edged inside pole position man Fabio Carbone into the first corner. Despite taking the lead, he carried too much speed into Lisboa and ran wide, dropping to third. This let Carbone, with a broken front wing, through again to take the lead, with Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre in second place.

But the Safety Car was soon called out. German Pierre Kaffer had hit the wall at San Francisco Bend after diving inside Paolo Montin and, as he bounced back into the track, several drivers collided. Nico Rosberg rolled and Alvaro Parente also crashed. Danny Watts was also involved in the collision.

The Safety Car came in at the beginning of the third lap and as Carbone's broken front wing flew off into the air almost immediately after the restart he was outdragged by both Lapierre and James Courtney into Lisboa. The leading duo then steadily pulled clear of the field before Courtney dived past around the outside at Lisboa in a thrilling move on the sixth lap.

From there Courtney did not put a foot wrong, despite his car jumping into neutral on one lap and costing him time. He eventually came home 4.6 seconds ahead of Lapierre. A delighted Courtney said: "I really wanted to be pole for the second race."

But while the fight at the front was relatively straightforward there was a thrilling contest behind. Carbone was struggling for pace, thanks to the missing right front wing element, and Briscoe was eager to get past. But as they battled for third place, the pair collided at Lisboa on lap seven. Although Carbone was able to continue, albeit losing a place to eventual third placed finisher Richard Antinucci, Briscoe spun and dropped down the order to eventually finish 15th. He said: "Fabio braked 30 metres earlier than normal and I had nowhere to go."

Carbone bravely held on to fourth place, with the drive of the race coming from Briton Lewis Hamilton who had started 17th on the grid. He avoided the carnage at San Francisco Bend to be ninth at the end of the first lap. He then took Robert Kubika on lap six and Robert Doornbos on lap nine. And despite losing fifth place to Doornbos on the final lap, he regained the position when the Dutchman was slowed with a broken driveshaft to limp home 14th.

shares
comments
Fabio Carbone Q&A

Previous article

Fabio Carbone Q&A

Next article

Lapierre gifted Macau victory

Lapierre gifted Macau victory
Load comments
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Plus

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Plus

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives Plus

How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives

ART Grand Prix team-mates Frederik Vesti and Juan Manuel Correa's paths to the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship grid couldn’t have been further apart, but both are using the same focus for different goals

FIA F3
May 5, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed Plus

Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Plus

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021
The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars Plus

The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars

Recently named as Autosport's greatest single-seater, Ralt's RT3 launched a plethora of superstar drivers through the early 1980s, and established the constructor as the go-to place for your single-seater weapon

FIA F3
Dec 8, 2020
The Macau GP's greatest moments Plus

The Macau GP's greatest moments

Coronavirus restrictions mean this weekend's Macau GP will have a very different feel, with the usual F3 jamboree replaced by Chinese F4. But in past years, the event has provided some seminal moments in the careers of future world champions

FIA F3
Nov 20, 2020