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Felix takes eighth in tight qualifying battle


Date: 18th November, 2011
Venue: Guia Circuit (China)
Weather: Dry, cloudy

Felix was involved in a tight scrap within the top ten in the second and final qualifying session for the 58th Macau Grand Prix on Friday afternoon, eventually ending up in eighth place - seven tenths adrift of Pole-setter Marco Wittmann around the 6.2 km Guia Circuit.

The result, however, does not help Felix's quest for grid position for tomorrow's 10-lap Qualification Race, where he is set to start from 30th and last place following the penalty he received by the Stewards after Thursday practice. Felix came around the Dona Maria Bend only to find a queue of standstill cars on the approach to the Melco Hairpin, and was unable to stop before hitting the back of Marko Asmer in a yellow flag zone.

With just 0.064s separating Wittmann from second-placed Roberto Merhi, qualifying proved to be just as close an affair throughout the top ten - as exemplified by the fact that Felix missed out on fifth place by a mere one tenth of a second. Mücke Motorsport team-mate Yuhi Sekiguchi qualified tenth, 1.060s shy of Wittmann's benchmark.

A last-gasp improvement from Kevin Magnussen hauled the Carlin driver in front of Felix by just 0.010s in the final moments of the session, but the Dane also faces an uphill struggle in the Qualification Race after he too fell into attention of the Stewards for his involvement in the very same situation which resulted in Felix's grid penalty. Also taken by surprise by the long line of cars ahead of him, Magnussen ran into the back of Felix's already wrecked Mücke Motorsport Dallara - also under yellow flags - and will thus have to start just ahead of his Scandinavian rival from 29th place tomorrow.  

Further consequences of what has been a penalty frenzy in Macau include Merhi losing seven places on tomorrow's grid, promoting Antonio Felix da Costa to second and Williams Formula 1 test driver Valtteri Bottas to third.

Both the Qualification Race and Sunday's all-important finale can be followed LIVE here at the website, with Felix Racing's real-time text commentary service taking you through the rest of the Macau Grand Prix weekend. Coverage of tomorrow's race will commence at 13.45 local time (GMT+08:00).

“I am not perfectly satisfied with eighth place, but it was an OK session. The track is very long, and it was really close within the top ten. I think I lost four or five tenths in one particular corner where the car felt very nervous and where I wasn't able to attack at all as much as you have to, but generally I think it's a decent outcome considering all the crashes I've had this weekend. I will be starting from last place tomorrow, but there are some really quick guys not far up the grid - Kevin Magnussen will be starting right in front of me, for example - and hopefully we'll be able to recover some ground.”

Next session: Qualification Race | Tomorrow at 14.00

Results (top five)

Pos Name Laps Best Time
1 Marco Wittmann  13  2m12.790s


Roberto Merhi



3 Antonio Felix da Costa  11  2m13.115s


Valtteri Bottas




Alexander Sims



 8  Felix Rosenqvist 12 2m13.528s

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