Premat wins incident-filled Macau Grand Prix
Alexandre Premat triumphed in an incident-filled Macau Grand Prix on Sunday, with two Safety Car periods and a red flag bringing an early end to the event. The Frenchman withheld intense pressure to head home Poland's Robert Kubica and Brazilian Lucas di Grassi.
Premat had started from third on the grid and kept that position off the line, as Nico Rosberg moved ahead of pole position man Lewis Hamilton as soon as the lights went out. At Lisboa on lap two, though, both Rosberg and Hamilton ran wide and hit the barriers.
That handed Premat the lead but it almost went completely wrong later that lap when he got sideways through Moorish corner and clouted the barrier heavily. It appeared that he had damaged his ASM car, as the following Kubica closed in on him, but he managed to continue.
The Safety Car was called out on lap three after a heavy accident involving Alvaro Parente at the Solitude Esses, allowing Premat time to check how his car was handling. At the restart from the beginning of lap six Premat put his foot down and managed to get away cleanly.
Behind him Kubica misjudged the restart and lost momentum, allowing Jamie Green to draft past him on the run down to Lisboa and seize second place. But Green's challenge to win the race was short-lived after he suffered a puncture - probably caused by running over debris. It caused him to run wide at Fishermen's Bend on lap eight and lose time. He was passed by Kubica and eventually slowed before coming into the pits for a new tyre.
That left Premat clear of Kubica at the front with Lucas di Grassi moving up to third, despite having suffered a broken diffuser after being hit from behind by Fabio Carbone, who was running fourth with a damaged front wing.
On lap nine the Safety Car came out for a second time after Christian Jones and Rodolfo Avila were involved at a collision through the Solitude Esses and temporarily blocked the track. The Safety Car came in at the end of lap 11 and, although Premat locked up at the final corner, he managed to get some clean air between himself and Kubica again.
Premat appeared to have everything under control by lap 13 while behind Kubica, Carbone managed to dive past di Grassi at Lisboa Bend for third. That move was worth nothing, however, because the race had to be stopped after a major pile-up at Police Bend caused when Marko Asmer spun across the track and triggered a multi-car pile-up.