Edoardo Mortara looks like the man to beat this weekened in Macau. He was the quickest driver also in the 3rd session in Macau. He ended the final practice 0.117 ahead of Carlo van Dam.
There were several incidents in the final practice. Jaime Alguersuari crashed at the San Francisco Bend badly damaging his car. Another front runner, Carlo van Dam, had his off at the Lisboa but managed to stop the car before hitting the barriers.
Friday qualifying saw a change on the top – Carlo van Dam clocked the fastest time ahead of Sam Bird, Keisuke Kunimoto and the fastest driver in previous three sessions Edoardo Mortara. It was exciting session with Sam Bird on pole and improving in the first sector of his next lap when Kei Cozzolino hit the barriers at the Fishermen’s Bend. The session was red flagged with less than 4 minutes remaining. Only the cars with garages towards the exit of the pitlane had enough time to make one more run after the restart. It looked like Sam Bird may hold on to his pole but then Carlo van Dam grabbed the pole with only seconds remaining. Macau Formula 3 continues tomorrow with Qualifying Race.
You can listen to replay of radio commentary of two Friday’s sessions here (tri-lingual Portuguese, Cantonese and English):
Macau Formula 3 Friday Practice Radio
Macau Formula 3 Friday Qualifying Radio
Edoardo Mortara fastest in Macau on Thursday
The 55th Macau GP begun on Thursday with the first practice and qualifying sessions. The fastest times in both Formula 3 session went to Italian driver Edoardo Mortara (Signature Plus), the runner up in 2008 Formula 2 Euroseries championship. Carlo van Dam, Roberto Streit and Roger van der Zande were all near the top in both sessions.
Macau is the track where it impossible not to crash and there were of these on Thursday. In the first practice Mika Maki crashed heavily at Fishermen’s Bend, Kazuya Oshima and Walter Grubmuller went off at Maternity Bend.
We expect some big changes in the look of the Formula 1 cars in 2009 but as the season progresses the cars change even without new rules. Let’s have a look how the 2008 F1 cars looked in Melbourne and compare them with their look in Brazil:
Ferrari – Melbourne
Ferrari - Brazil
Fernando Alonso returned Renault to the top of the podium
Sebastian Vettel, Robert Kubica, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton – arguably the class of the 2008 Formula 1 field. Picking these five for my top 5 was the easy part. But how to rank them from 5 to 1 ?
All these five drivers outclassed their team mates, in Alonso’s case brutally. Those two with very equal machinery finished the season almost equal – one with 1 more point, the other one with 1 more win. Those three with less comepetitve cars in hand did not hesitate and took their chances when they came their way. All of them however also lacked the consistency, all of them had their days off or periods of slump. So here is how I rank the top 5 drivers of 2008 Formula 1 season:
Front wings in 2009 will be much lower
2008 style front wing on Williams F1 car
We may see more of these soon, the winter testing begins next week. But Williams are the first team offering us the sneak peak at the 2009 style aero. They tested the narrow and high rear wing in Barcelona back in September, yesterday they fitted the FW30 car with the new front wing too during their Kemble airfield shakedown.
The pictures above show the differences between 2008 and 2009 spec front wings. I must say that while the new rear wing looks funny, its cousing at the front of car does have the look of proper racing wing .
More on 2009 F1 cars:
2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences
How will the 2009 F1 cars look like ?