MACAU GRAND PRIX
Venue: Guia Circuit (China) | Date: November 15th, 2012 | Weather: Overcast
By Mattias Persson
Felix found himself in the heat of a dramatic scrap for provisional pole position in the first qualifying session of the weekend at Macau, eventually ending up second despite posting what he labelled a "bad lap" - just 0.020s shy of pace-setter António Félix da Costa (Carlin).
The session - which, combined with a second qualifying showdown tomorrow, is used to shape the grid for Saturday's Qualification Race - was fiercely competitive throughout. Felix was a constant feature at the head of the standings, holding third place at the halfway mark and immediately upping the pace further once he had joined the rest of the field into the pits for new tyres.
With seven minutes to go, Felix was on course for a clear improvement that would most likely have given him provisional pole position, only to encounter a very untimely red flag due to a crash involving Andrea Roda (Jo Zeller Racing) at the final corner. Felix had no choice but to abandon his effort and return to the pits, sitting in fifth place at the time of the stoppage.
A final burst of activity once the track returned to green yielded a number of shake-ups throughout the list, however, with Felix managing to squeeze out a 2m13.420s lap on his final tour to shadow da Costa by just two hundredths of a second as he hauled himself onto the provisional front row. Mücke Motorsport team-mates Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Gilbert qualified 10th and 23rd respectively.
The final qualifying session takes place on Friday, but - with weather forecasts predicting rain to hit the Chinese venue - the likelihood of today's results being bettered tomorrow is currently believed to be small.
COMMENT | FELIX
"It feels great to be on the front row here at Macau - at least for now - and we are definitely strong enough to challenge for the very best positions this weekend. Macau is always Macau, though, so we have to be very careful with our predictions, even though things look positive from a performance perspective.
"I am actually surprised that my lap was enough for second place, because - in all honesty - it was pretty bad. I made some mistakes and almost spun at Dona Maria, and so to be this close to pole position is a very good sign for us. The team has done a great job today, helping me to keep check of traffic etc., and now we will have to see what the weather throws up tomorrow".
Results (top five)
Download full results
||António Félix da Costa
||Carlos Sainz Jr.