One-two for Volkswagen in Macau - Wittmann from Nasr
Victorious start for Volkswagen at Macau Grand Prix 2011. With Volkswagen management board member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg looking on Marco Wittmann (Markt Erlbach) and Felipe Nasr (Brazil) presented the Wolfsburg based manufacturer with a one-two in today’s qualification race. As a result, the German and South American start tomorrow’s 58th running of the unofficial Formula 3 world championship from the front row. Volkswagen can also boast a strong team result with seven drivers in the top ten.
Playing to packed grandstands Marco Wittmann, second overall in this year’s Formula 3 Euro Series, used his pole position clinched yesterday perfectly and led the 29 car field into the first corner on the Guia Circuit. The Volkswagen customer team Signature driver let nothing stand in his way and was never headed on the way to an emphatic victory, which was also aided by a late safety-car that led the cars to the chequered flag. “This win was no coincidence,” said Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “Marco has been in great form the entire weekend.”
Thanks to a lighting start Felipe Nasr, newly crowned British Formula 3 Championship Champion, forced his way up from fifth to second place. Over the course of the remaining laps he cleverly staved off numerous attacks made by Spaniard Roberto Merhi (Mercedes-Benz) and was delighted about second place at the flag. Nasr’s Carlin team mate Carlos Huertas (Columbia) starts the 15 lap main race, broadcast live in Germany by the n-tv channel from 08:30, from fifth place.
Grid rows four and five are completely in Volkswagen hands. Signature driver Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) is seventh. The grid position of Daniel Abt (also Signature), the second German driver, is particularly praiseworthy as the 18-year old made up a full eight places in the qualification race. Lying in wait in ninth and tenth position are Motopark driver Kimiya Sato (Japan) and Hannes van Asseldonk (Netherlands) from Hitech Racing. Carlos Sainz Jr., 17-year old son of same named World Rally Champion and Dakar winner, took 20th place on his Macau debut.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director:
“Congratulations to Marco Wittmann and the Signature team for winning. We have a strong package but this alone is no guarantee for winning the main race. As well as Marco Wittmann we shouldn’t forget Felipe Nasr who drove a strong race. It certainly wasn’t easy to keep Mehri the Euro Series Champion behind.”
- 1 – Marco Wittmann (Markt Erlbach) – Volkswagen Dallara –
Grid position qualification race: 1 – result qualification race: 1st position
“It was hard work today. The run down to the first corner is always a lottery here in Macau, but thankfully everything went okay. Afterward I just pushed hard and was able to build up a lead over Felipe. Because of the safety car at the end winning the race was just a formality. Obviously I’m delighted about the result. My thanks also go to Volkswagen Motorsport and my team Signature. However, the more important day comes tomorrow and I think that things aren’t looking too bad for another win.”
- 3 – Daniel Abt (Kempten) – Volkswagen Dallara – Signature
Grid position qualification race: 16 – result qualification race: 8th position
“I’m really pleased with how I’ve developed here in Macau. I just wanted too much in qualifying yesterday and couldn’t put a clean lap together. Today I made up a few places at the start, kept out of trouble and my speed was just better than yesterday. Eighth on the grid for tomorrow doesn’t sound too bad. The race has been won from this position before. But you also need a little luck. The circuit here is just so dangerous that anything can happen.”