Macau Grand Prix: Prema's Euro F3 champion Schumacher tops practice

Formula 3 European champion Mick Schumacher drew first blood in the Macau Grand Prix weekend by topping the opening free practice session

Macau Grand Prix: Prema's Euro F3 champion Schumacher tops practice

Schumacher was hovering around the fringes of the top 10 before he picked up a massive tow from Callum Ilott late in the session and vaulted his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes to the top of the times.

Prema boss Rene Rosin said that this was Schumacher's only push lap of the session, in which he was leaving plenty of margin - it also included a pass on Ilott on the brakes into Lisboa.

As Schumacher pitted on the final lap, F3 returnee Ilott regrouped and set a time just 0.030 seconds adrift of the German at the chequered flag in his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen.

"I gave the tow to Schumacher, so lucky boy there," said GP3 racer Ilott.

"It was a good session and we kept it on track, although I had one little moment at Police. That's pretty normal, but that's the one that they caught on camera!"

Third fastest was Juri Vips, the Macau rookie also surviving a moment at Police, although in his case it damaged the left-rear rim and tyre in the early stages of the session.

Newly appointed as a Red Bull Junior, Vips returned to the circuit and was top of the times on a fantastic Macau debut until the late improvements from Schumacher and Ilott.

"That put [me] on the back foot," said the Motopark starlet of his incident, "but in a way it's good that I made a mistake early and found the limit.

"Everyone else at the team was not liking it that much though, because they had been telling me to take it easy and not put it in the wall."

Two more Motopark drivers, 2017 Macau GP winner Dan Ticktum and BMW DTM racer Joel Eriksson, completed the top five.

Both ran into traffic in the closing stages of the session when the quickest times were set, but each reported that all was well with their cars.

Sacha Fenestraz posted the sixth quickest time in his Carlin machine, just ahead of the second-best Macau rookie, Prema's Robert Shwartzman.

The usually smooth-driving Alex Palou looked uncharacteristically spectacular on the circuit as he put the lead B-Max Racing entry eighth in the times, on the Japanese team's first weekend since its tie-up with Motopark.

Runaway Japanese F3 champion Sho Tsuboi was a strong ninth quickest for TOM'S, while Jake Hughes rounded out the top 10 on his F3 comeback with Hitech GP.

There were no red flags in the session and very few incidents, although Macanese Charles Leong only got two laps in with his Hitech car before pitting with damage.

Result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Mick Schumacher SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Dallara/Mercedes 2m12.168s 12
2 Callum Ilott Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.030s 15
3 Juri Vips Motopark Academy Dallara/Volkswagen 0.036s 13
4 Dan Ticktum Motopark Academy Dallara/Volkswagen 0.232s 16
5 Joel Eriksson Motopark Academy Dallara/Volkswagen 0.255s 13
6 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0.277s 13
7 Robert Shwartzman SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Dallara/Mercedes 0.281s 14
8 Alex Palou B-MAX Racing Team Dallara/Volkswagen 0.326s 14
9 Sho Tsuboi TOM'S Dallara/Toyota 0.685s 17
10 Jake Hughes Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 0.945s 13
11 Yuhi Sekiguchi B-MAX Racing Team Dallara/Volkswagen 1.098s 7
12 Ferdinand Habsburg Motopark Academy Dallara/Volkswagen 1.098s 15
13 Ralf Aron SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Dallara/Mercedes 1.208s 10
14 Marcus Armstrong SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Dallara/Mercedes 1.259s 14
15 Guanyu Zhou SJM Theodore Racing by Prema Dallara/Mercedes 1.273s 11
16 Sophia Florsch Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 1.741s 17
17 Ritomo Miyata TOM'S Dallara/Toyota 1.818s 17
18 Marino Sato Motopark Academy Dallara/Volkswagen 2.095s 14
19 Enaam Ahmed Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 2.262s 14
20 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 2.292s 14
21 Toshiki Oyu Toda Racing Dallara/Toda 2.519s 14
22 Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2.728s 15
23 Frederik Vesti Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 3.369s 17
24 Ukyo Sasahara ThreeBond Racing Dallara/Tomei 4.017s 14
25 Sena Sakaguchi Toda Racing Dallara/Toda 4.887s 14
26 Yoshiaki Katayama Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 9.021s 13
27 Charles Leong Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 15.543s 3
28 Dragon B-MAX Racing Team Dallara/Volkswagen 15.796s 11
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Series FIA F3
Drivers David Schumacher
Author Marcus Simmons
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