Macau winner is too close to call

This year's Macau Formula Three Grand Prix - held on one of the world's toughest street circuits - looks like being the most open for years due to the absence of the British and German champions and a spate of driver movements between teams

Macau winner is too close to call

France's Jonathan Cochet (Signature Dallara-Renault) is looking to add the Macau trophy - previously won by Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard - to the French title and the other one-off events he won at Pau and the Marlboro Masters. The French attack is bolstered by Sebastien Philippe (ASM Dallara-Renault), who won the Japanese title for the Dome Project team this year.

The man he beat to that crown is Austria's Robert Lechner, who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Darren Manning and Peter Dumbreck by winning the race for the TOM'S team. But the Japanese outfit's Toyota engines were beaten to the domestic title by Mugen Honda - and British Championship front-runner Takuma Sato is the favourite of many pundits for victory, especially as he swaps his regular Mugen for a works-tweaked version in his Carlin Motorsport Dallara.

Carlin has also signed quick Indian Narain Karthikeyan, who jumps ship from Stewart Racing which has decided to skip the Far Eastern event. His British Championship team-mate, series runner-up Tomas Scheckter, has switched to Swiss Racing Team alongside former F3000 driver Alex Yoong.

After an all-British scrap for victory between Manning and Jenson Button last year, only two Brits drivers are entered this time. Andy Priaulx steps into British champ Antonio Pizzonia's shoes at Manor Motorsport, while Ben Collins moves from Carlin to RC Motorsport.

"RC have given me a great opportunity to race here and I wouldn't really have been able to race otherwise," said Collins, who last raced at Macau in 1997. "I think this year is special because there are more quick cars than ever before with quick guys driving them - it will be a real race."

Prost's F3000 racer Andre Couto, who was born in the former Portuguese enclave, has a better chance than even alongside Red Bull Junior Team's new signing Patrick Friesacher at the crack Bert Schafer Racing team.

Others capable of springing a win include Gianmaria Bruni (Fortec Dallara-Mugen), former Italian champion Peter Sundberg (Prema Dallara-Opel) and Ryo Fukuda (Promatecme Junior Team Dallara-Renault).

For full Ben Collins Q&A on the trials of Macau, click HERE.

shares
comments
Ben Collins Q&A
Previous article

Ben Collins Q&A

Next article

Sato throws down the Macau gauntlet

Sato throws down the Macau gauntlet
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying Plus

Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying

Prema Racing has long dominated FIA Formula 3, taking the teams’ title in two of the past three seasons. But its start to 2022 has been trickier than usual, and the answers lie in its qualifying performance

FIA F3
May 27, 2022
How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape Plus

How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape

With just five points separating the top five after two rounds, FIA Formula 3 looks set for another thrilling season in 2022. But who stands the best chance of pulling away from that pack, and who are the contenders bubbling under?

FIA F3
May 3, 2022
The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path Plus

The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path

Joining the FIA Formula 3 grid as a rookie with a team new to the series could prove daunting for most, but then there aren't many drivers who have the extensive experience Franco Colapinto brings from his time racing sportscars. The Argentinian explains how his LMP2 experience is already helping him in 2022

FIA F3
Mar 27, 2022
The British trio hunting for F3 title glory Plus

The British trio hunting for F3 title glory

The 2022 FIA Formula 3 season kicks off this weekend in Bahrain. British trio Zak O’Sullivan, Ollie Bearman and Jonny Edgar have all become proteges of Formula 1 teams, and are talents to watch this year

FIA F3
Mar 18, 2022
How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors Plus

How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors

His career has been a slowburner but Gregoire Saucy trounced a collection of F1 juniors in Formula Regional by Alpine last year, and now he’s preparing to do it again in FIA F3. Here’s how the Swiss caught the world by surprise in 2021 and how he plans to do it all over again

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021

With a veritable feast of feeder series talent in 2021, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 produced some of its most exciting racing yet. Although Prema Racing drivers once again dominated the respective series, drivers from other teams also stole the limelight to mark themselves out as stars of the future, or validate their highly-regarded standing

FIA F2
Dec 22, 2021
How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021 Plus

How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021

Taking three of the four titles and producing two outstanding champions in the process, Prema Racing remained the team to beat in Formula 1's feeder series in 2021. Team boss Rene Rosin reveals the traits that helped Dennis Hauger and Oscar Piastri to come out on top in Formula 3 and Formula 2

FIA F2
Dec 20, 2021