Red Bull junior and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum took provisional pole for Macau GP qualifying race ahead of Ferrari junior and Carlin’s Callum Ilott and Prema’s Mick Schumacher.
The experienced pro Joel Eriksson in the Motopark car headed the timesheet early in the session with the likes of Ticktum, Ilott and Schumacher in the chasing pack. The Swede though couldn’t improve in the second part of qualifying.
A crash for HitechGP’s Charles Leong red-flagged the session with Ilott then going quicker when the track went green. The British driver was soon beaten by Ticktum with Schumacher going third, demoting Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz from the Top 3 spot.
The Renault junior driver dropped even further after a hit on the wall, the same way as his teammate Yoshiaki Katayama did early in the session – the two were still able to continue after a pit visit.
There was another red flag with less than five minutes remaining when HitechGP’s Enaam Ahmed crashed out at the same place as his teammate Leong. The session re-started but before anyone could improve, qualifying ended with yet another crash.
TODA’s Sena Sakaguchi crashed in the final corner which ended the session with Ticktum (2m11.004s) taking provisional pole from Ilott (2m11.136s) and Schumacher (2m11.433s). HitechGP’s Jake Hughes (2m11.498s) popped into fourth.
Japan’s top driver was Yuhi Sekiguchi (2m11.674s) in the B-Max Racing Team car in fifth with Fenestraz (2m11.707s) ending up sixth from Eriksson (2m11.732s). HitechGP’s Alex Palou (2m11.775s) did well in eighth.
The Top 10 was rounded out by Motopark’s Ferdinand Habsburg (2m11.917s) and Team TOM’s Sho Tsuboi (2m11.966s) with Motopark’s Juri Vips in the Red Bull colours only 11th from Ahmed – the last of the drivers in the 2m11s bracket.
The Estonian was set to improve like many others on his last flying lap until the crash for Sakaguchi. Outside the Top 10, it was a good run from Van Amersfoort Racing’s Sophia Floersch in 15th – ahead of some big names.
Missing out on a place inside the Top 10 were Prema’s Marcus Armstrong in 13th with Guyanyu Zhou 14th along with Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala in 15th and Prema’s Ralf Aron 18th with teammate Robert Shwartzman 19th.
Position 11-28: Vips, Ahmed, Armstrong, Zhou, Floersch, Daruvala, Ritomo Miyata, Aron, Shwartzman, Marino Sato, Keyvan Andres, Frederik Vesti, Toshiki Oyu, Sakaguchi, Leong, Ukyo Sasahara, Katayama, Dragon (Ryuji Kumita).