Ericsson on Pole for Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race
Marcus Ericsson secured pole position for the Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race with another last gasp effort in qualifying on Friday - before making a mistake that caused minor damage to his car.
The TOM'S driver, who had been quickest in first qualifying on Thursday too, saw a number of his rivals improve on the benchmark overnight time early on in Friday's session to push him down the order.
Following a lengthy red flag spell halfway through qualifying, caused by water on the track, Ericsson instantly responded to the challenge and delivered a lap time that secured him pole position by just 0.039 seconds from Signature's Jean-Karl Vernay.
"I had got pole but on the radio the team said it was tight, so I pushed harder," explained Ericsson. "Unfortunately I went into the wall. It bent a wishbone but it is not a problem - and it's looking good for tomorrow."
Vernay was a bit disappointed about missing out on the top spot by such a small margin, but pleased that he had been able to secure a slot on the front row of the grid on his first visit to Macau.
Finland's Valtteri Bottas, driving for ART Grand Prix, took third place - ahead of the morning's pace-setter Edoardo Mortara, who had been quickest of all in the mountain section of the track but could not deliver on the promise shown in practice.
British F3 champion Daniel Ricciardo will start fifth, having briefly put himself second overall before making a mistake under braking for Lisboa and sliding into the barriers. He was able to get going again, but could not improve his best time.
Several drivers hit trouble in the session - including Brendon Hartley, who crashed at R Bend, and Kevin Chen who went off at Paiol.