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Felix hit by Merhi in yellow flag qualifying incident


Date: 17th November, 2011
Venue: Guia Circuit (China)
Weather: Rain

Felix ended up in tenth place in the first of two qualifying sessions for the Macau Grand Prix, after being forced to see his running cut short when he was hit from behind by Roberto Merhi under yellow flags in a rain-drenched session.

After Mücke Motorsport put in an impeccable performance to bring Felix's car back into life following the shunt in practice this morning, Felix immediately set about challenging for the top five positions, going fourth - then second - before dropping down the order as he was denied important running when weather conditions began to improve.

Felix went into the pits to change to a new set of rain tyres with seven minutes left of the session, but a freak accident shortly afterwards - where Merhi, under yellow flags, lost his car under braking for Lisboa Bend and ran into the back of Felix - denied the Macau sophomore any chance of improving on his effort during the final moments of the session.

Felix's car sustained less damage than this morning, however, with a broken rear wing the most significant effect of the clash - which was partly due to further rain just beginning to sweep over the Guia Circuit, and Merhi's vision being compromised by following close behind Richie Stanaway moments before the incident occurred.

Race officials have called Merhi to the Stewards' office, and indicated that the Spaniard might receive a penalty for the accident.

Merhi had better luck on the timesheets, though, and posted a pace-setting time of 2m28.860s. Felix was 3.5s behind the Spaniard, having only completed seven laps - the least of any driver (barring Hironobu Yasuda). If conditions were to improve for tomorrow's second qualifying session, today's results will be of little importance, with each driver's fastest time from any of the two attempts providing them with their position on the grid from Saturday's Qualification Race.

F3 returnee Valtteri Bottas - who missed the opening practice session after being stuck in transit from the Formula 1 Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi - endured a challenging comeback to Macau, ending up 27th fastest.

“Not a great session. It felt pretty good in the beginning, but when the circuit began to dry I wasn't as comfortable as I would have hoped. We have been told to particularly respect the yellow flags this weekend, so I decided to lift off significantly when I arrived at Lisboa at the end of the session. All of a sudden, Roberto then came flying into the back of me, but I think he didn't see too much as he had some spray from another car right in front of him. Now, we have to prepare for tomorrow, and hope for better things by then.”

Next session: Free Practice 2 | Tomorrow at 11.00

Results (top five)

Pos Name Laps Best Time
1 Roberto Merhi  8  2m28.860s


Marco Wittmann



3 Felipe Nasr  8  2m30.639s


Daniel Juncadella




Alexander Sims 



10  Felix Rosenqvist  7  2m32.457s

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