Macau Grand Prix: Felix Rosenqvist fastest in first practice

Two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Felix Rosenqvist began his quest for an event hat-trick in style by topping the first free practice session for the 2016 running

Macau Grand Prix: Felix Rosenqvist fastest in first practice

The Swede, fresh from his maiden Formula E pole position last weekend, looked stunning on the circuit and his Theodore Racing-backed Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes ended the session 0.412 seconds ahead of the closest opposition.

Practice, scheduled for 40 minutes, was red-flagged 13 minutes in after Ferdinand Habsburg went into Fisherman's Bend too hot and understeered his Fortec Motorsport car into the tyre wall.

The Austrian, who is making his competition debut in FIA-spec F3 this weekend, was taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up.

Unfortunately, the car came to rest directly under a pedestrian bridge, restricting manoeuvre room for the recovery crane, and with the left-front corner wedged under the barrier.

That meant a lengthy 16-minute stoppage, although the session was extended by five minutes, allowing an uninterrupted 16-minute burst at the end.

While Rosenqvist had an unimpeded run at the front of the pack, Callum Ilott wriggled out of the traffic to get two clear laps and propel his Van Amersfoort Racing car to second place.

"There was no rhythm but I just tried to get a lap in," said the Briton.

"The track in some places is a bit dirty but I just tried to get used to it, sorting out what's better and what's not."

Ilott's last lap dislodged Japanese champion Kenta Yamashita, who ended up third after looking extremely good on track on his one-off outing with T-Sport's Tomei/ThreeBond-engined car.

DTM driver Daniel Juncadella got into the groove swiftly to take fourth with his Hitech GP machine, while Formula Renault Eurocup champion Lando Norris was the star Macau rookie as he topped Carlin's quartet of Dallara-Volkswagens.

Norris, who celebrated his 17th birthday only a few days ago, was committed right from the start, and was the last man to lap within a second of Rosenqvist's best.

Next up were two more Carlin drivers, with Jake Hughes taking sixth place from Antonio Felix da Costa, Macau newcomer Hughes somehow managing to keep it out of the barriers after a massive moment at Fisherman's.

Alexander Sims started the weekend well for Double R Racing in eighth, with David Beckmann (Mucke Motorsport) and George Russell (Hitech) completing the top 10.

Of the other drivers who didn't finish the session, Nick Cassidy suffered brake problems before his car shut down and he parked on the start-finish straight with a few minutes remaining, while Jann Mardenborough had to pit because his engine cover was coming loose, to rather detrimental effect on his straightline speed.

PRACTICE TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Felix Rosenqvist SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 2m13.099s - 8
2 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2m13.511s 0.412s 10
3 Kenta Yamashita ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/Threebond 2m13.547s 0.448s 11
4 Daniel Juncadella Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 2m13.628s 0.529s 10
5 Lando Norris Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 2m13.948s 0.849s 11
6 Jake Hughes Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 2m14.158s 1.059s 11
7 Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 2m14.302s 1.203s 11
8 Alexander Sims Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2m14.547s 1.448s 10
9 David Beckmann KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 2m14.702s 1.603s 9
10 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 2m14.912s 1.813s 9
11 Dan Ticktum Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2m15.119s 2.020s 10
12 Arjun Maini Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 2m15.151s 2.052s 9
13 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2m15.343s 2.244s 10
14 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 2m15.440s 2.341s 10
15 Sam MacLeod Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 2m15.616s 2.517s 11
16 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 2m15.806s 2.707s 9
17 Nick Cassidy SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 2m15.807s 2.708s 7
18 Maximilian Guenther SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 2m15.875s 2.776s 10
19 Jann Mardenborough B-MAX Racing Team Dallara/Volkswagen 2m16.485s 3.386s 11
20 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 2m16.855s 3.756s 8
21 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2m16.896s 3.797s 11
22 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 2m17.520s 4.421s 9
23 Andy Chang ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 2m17.576s 4.477s 9
24 Sho Tsuboi TOM'S Dallara/Toyota 2m17.799s 4.700s 10
25 Keyvan Andres KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 2m17.925s 4.826s 9
26 Hong Li Ye B-MAX Racing Team Dallara/Volkswagen 2m18.157s 5.058s 11
27 Tadasuke Makino Toda Racing Dallara/Toda 2m19.041s 5.942s 7
28 Daiki Sasaki B-MAX Racing Team Dallara/Volkswagen 2m22.083s 8.984s 11
29 Ferdinand Habsburg Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 2m27.913s 14.814s 3


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