MORTARA DOMINATES MACAU WEEKEND WITH SIGNATURE
Newly-crowned Formula 3 Euroseries Vice Champion Edoardo Mortara has dominated the Macau Grand Prix weekend, setting quickest time in both practice sessions and winning the qualification race to start today's race from pole. Unfortunately, a brush with a wall just after the second safety car period meant that Edoardo damaged a front-right suspension wishbone and ended the race in second.
Nonetheless, Edoardo was delighted to finish on the podium at such a prestigious event, only 1.1 seconds behind the surprise winner. Once more, he was the highest-placed Volkswagen driver to round off an extremely successful season for the German manufacturer.
He also built upon the lessons learned at Macau last year. On that occasion, on his Macau debut, the Signature team driver was forced to start the main race at the back, but staged a fantastic fightback to make up 16 places and end the race 10th.
The street circuit of Macau is a legendary venue that unites all the top Formula 3 drivers from across the world and has seen Formula 1 stars such as Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel recently stand on the podium.
"It's a race that I love," said Edoardo. "Unfortunately things didn't quite go my way today but second is still a very good result and one that we can all be proud of. If you think how far Volkswagen has come in only its first full year of Formula 3, it's a very impressive achievement. I didn't get the best start today, but I was still confident that we could get a good tow and get back in front at Lisboa, which is exactly what happened. Then I brushed the wall slightly at Matsuya after the second safety car period. It wasn't even a real impact -- only a small knock -- but it's just frustrating as this was the first time that it happened to me all weekend!"
Despite the notable damage to the front-right suspension wishbone, which seriously compromised the handling of his car, Edoardo still managed to set some very quick times and claim a well-deserved podium, after having led the race in the early stages.
"I think that goes to show just what we were capable of," added the 21-year-old. "With a perfect car we had a really good chance of getting past and winning, but it was not to be. I'd like to congratulate the race winner, but above all the Signature team and Volkswagen for a brilliant season. I think we've surpassed all expectations this year, and this is a real testimony to all the hard work that has been put in over the course of the season."
Edoardo's plans for the 2009 season will be announced shortly.