Macau GP: Ticktum grabs pole despite chaos

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Macau GP: Ticktum grabs pole despite chaos
By: Marcus Simmons
Nov 16, 2018, 8:14 AM

McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Dan Ticktum put in a sensational performance to take pole position for the Macau Grand Prix qualification race.

In a dramatic and typically chaotic Macau qualifying session, Red Bull Junior Ticktum rose from the lower reaches of the top 10 to put his Motopark Dallara-Volkswagen on pole in the closing stages. Ticktum then found even more time on the final lap to set a remarkable 2m09.910s.

Ferrari protege Callum Ilott was Ticktum’s main rival, and the Carlin driver had gone on to pole on his first flying lap following a late full-course yellow caused by Enaam Ahmed crashing at R Bend.

After Ticktum had supplanted him, Ilott sliced more increments on the following lap, but was using tyres that had a couple more laps of usage, and finished the session 0.443 seconds adrift.

Both were on another quick final effort when Marino Sato crashed at Police right in front of Ilott, whose avoidance of the Japanese Motopark driver was miraculous.

Almost at the same time, Ukyo Sasahara finally lost his battle with the consistently lairy ThreeBond Racing car by crashing at R Bend, and Joel Eriksson was unable to avoid him, meaning red flags brought the session to a premature end.

“I just got a chance to put everything together, which I didn’t last year,” said Ticktum, who qualified eighth in 2017 before winning the Macau GP. “It was turning into the same as last year [with all the incidents], but I tried to get the lap after the FCY [full course yellow].

“The 10.1 was almost perfect, and the next one I managed to iron out a couple of mistakes. This year the track seems to be considerably better. We don’t seem to use the tyres so much – you get a couple more laps than before, so you can do three or four quick ones.”

Renault F1 junior Sacha Fenestraz made it two Carlin cars in the top three, the Frenchman making the most of following Ticktum on track to jump up the order with a late effort.

That displaced mid-session poleman Eriksson, who was on pretty elderly tyres when he set his time and, due to traffic, went no quicker when two new Yokohamas were fitted before his unfortunate crash with Sasahara.

Behind fourth-placed Eriksson, Guan Yu Zhou leapt forward to lead the Prema Powerteam charge in fifth, while Hitech GP’s Jake Hughes dropped from third to sixth in the final few minutes.

Sato put in an impressive performance before his crash to qualify seventh, and shares the fourth row with top Macau debutant Marcus Armstrong, who crashed at the Melco hairpin just over halfway through the session.

Mick Schumacher couldn’t match his free practice performance and qualified ninth, and his Prema car slowed on the final lap for reasons that are not yet clear. He lines up on row five with team-mate Ralf Aron. 

There were numerous other incidents. Keyvan Andres collided with Yoshiaki Katayama under braking at Lisboa, both heading into the wall, while Sho Tsuboi almost simultaneously dropped it at the Solitude Esses, causing an early red flag.

Sophia Floersch returned to the pits after an incident on the mountain, while ‘Dragon’ crashed at Police moments after beating Ayrton Senna’s 1983 pole time.

Qualifying results:

Pos.

Driver

Car / Engine

Time

Gap

1

Dan Ticktum

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'09.910

 

2

Callum Ilott

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'10.353

0.443

3

Sacha Fenestraz

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'10.580

0.670

4

Joel Eriksson

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'10.991

1.081

5

Guan Yu Zhou

Dallara/Mercedes

2'11.130

1.220

6

Jake Hughes

Dallara/Mercedes

2'11.155

1.245

7

Marino Sato

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'11.262

1.352

8

Marcus Armstrong

Dallara/Mercedes

2'11.329

1.419

9

Mick Schumacher

Dallara/Mercedes

2'11.382

1.472

10

Ralf Aron

Dallara/Mercedes

2'11.446

1.536

11

Robert Shwartzman

Dallara/Mercedes

2'11.746

1.836

12

Juri Vips

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'11.855

1.945

13

Ferdinand Habsburg

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'12.027

2.117

14

Frederik Vesti

Dallara/Mercedes

2'12.104

2.194

15

Yuhi Sekiguchi

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'12.180

2.270

16

Jehan Daruvala

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'12.189

2.279

17

Alex Palou

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'12.498

2.588

18

Enaam Ahmed

Dallara/Mercedes

2'12.661

2.751

19

Ritomo Miyata

Dallara/Toyota

2'12.680

2.770

20

Charles Leong

Dallara/Mercedes

2'12.943

3.033

21

Sena Sakaguchi

Dallara/Toda

2'13.041

3.131

22

Sho Tsuboi

Dallara/Toyota

2'13.137

3.227

23

Ukyo Sasahara

Dallara/Tomei

2'13.514

3.604

24

Sophia Floersch

Dallara/Mercedes

2'13.641

3.731

25

Keyvan Andres

Dallara/Mercedes

2'14.659

4.749

26

Toshiki Oyu

Dallara/Toda

2'15.026

5.116

27

Yoshiaki Katayama

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'15.681

5.771

28

'Dragon'

Dallara/Volkswagen

2'21.771

11.861

 

 

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About this article

Series F3
Event Macau GP
Drivers Dan Ticktum
Author Marcus Simmons