Antonio Felix da Costa produced a brilliant performance to take his second Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix win on Sunday.
The Portuguese driver, returning to F3 for the blue riband end-of-season event, kept his cool after losing the lead at the start to pull a move on teammate Sergio Sette Camara on lap seven that sealed his victory.
Although front row starter Callum Ilott made the best getaway to lead from pole position man da Costa, it was Camara who had picked up the best slipstream.
The Brazilian forced his way into the lead through Mandarin and defended well on the inside into Lisboa as his rivals tried to outbrake him.
Sette Camara then had a storming first lap – opening up a 1.2-second lead – and even extended it further on the following tour to be 1.4 seconds clear.
But soon after, da Costa began to close him down and, after he got within 0.7 seconds at the end of lap four, a safety car was called out when Nikita Mazepin crashed at Faraway.
On the restart on lap seven, da Costa tucked himself right under Sette Camara’s rear wing and got a good slipstream down through Mandarin before diving to the outside of his teammate on the run down to Lisboa.
The Portuguese driver had got ahead before the braking zone and he then set about extending his lead over the next few laps, pulling out a 1.7-second advantage by lap 10 before a second safety car period, caused by Nick Cassidy crashing.
The race restarted on lap 13 and da Costa managed to build up enough of a gap to Sette Camara to just escape a challenge from the Brazilian on the run down to Lisboa.
From there he was 1.1 seconds ahead at the end of the lap, and Sette Camara was suddenly the man under pressure as a sideways moment at Fisherman’s Bend gave Felix Rosenqvist an opportunity to get in to the Brazilian’s slipstream.
Rosenqvist seized his moment and went around the outside of Sette Camara down to Lisboa, before setting about a charge to try to close down da Costa’s advantage.
But there were not enough laps left and Rosenqvist came home 1.6 seconds behind, with Sette Camara taking third spot.
Kenta Yamashita passed Ilott at the final restart to take fourth, while Jake Hughes passed George Russell to complete the top six and finish as the highest rookie.
Dani Juncadella, Pedro Piquet and Alexander Sims completed the top 10, just ahead of Lando Norris, who carved his way to 11th from the back of the grid.
|1||Antonio Felix da Costa||Carlin||15 laps|
|2||Felix Rosenqvist||Theodore Racing by Prema||1.603|
|3||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||3.194|
|4||Kenta Yamashita||ThreeBond with T-Sport||3.862|
|5||Callum Ilott||Van Amersfoort Racing||4.348|
|7||George Russell||Hitech GP||7.027|
|8||Daniel Juncadella||Hitech GP||7.84|
|9||Pedro Piquet||Van Amersfoort Racing||9.361|
|10||Alexander Sims||Double R Racing||11.294|
|12||Andy Chang||ThreeBond with T-Sport||15.101|
|13||Anthoine Hubert||Van Amersfoort Racing||15.52|
|14||Tadasuke Makino||Toda Racing||17.674|
|15||Guan Yu Zhou||Motopark||17.913|
|16||Sho Tsuboi||Team TOM'S||18.53|
|18||Keyvan Andres Soori||Mucke Motorsport||19.972|
|19||David Beckmann||Mucke Motorsport||20.325|
|20||Jann Mardenborough||B-Max Racing Team||22.895|
|Ret||Daiki Sasaki||B-Max Racing Team|
|Ret||Nick Cassidy||Theodore Racing by Prema|
|Ret||Daniel Ticktum||Double R Racing|
|Ret||Maximilian Gunther||Theodore Racing by Prema|
|Ret||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP|