- Arjun Maini [Copyright: Macau GP]

Red Bull Junior and Hitech GP's Juri Vips has secured Macau GP pole for Saturday's Qualifying Race ahead of Prema's Robert Shwartzman.

The lead changed hands for multiple times during the long 2019 Macau GP qualifying session to determine the pole-sitter for Saturday's Qualifying Race. Initially, Prema's Marcus Armstrong looked good to take the top spot but for a late crash.

The Kiwi caused the session's second red flag, immediately after setting the quickest time in the 2m05's bracket. His run was over but rivals improved further with Red Bull junior Vips ending up as the fastest with a 2m04.997s lap - the only one in the 2m04's bracket.

The session was over with just over two minutes remaining after a crash for ART Grand Prix's Ferdinand Habsburg. It sealed pole for Vips as he led Ferrari juniors Shwartzman (2m05.376s) and Sauber Junior Team by Charouz's Callum Ilott (2m.05.580s).

ART and a Macau GP rookie Christian Lundgaard (2m05.669s) ended up a solid fourth with MP Motorsport's Richard Verschoor (2m05.723s) in fifth from provisional pole-sitter HWA Racelab's Jake Hughes (2m05.774s), who couldn't emulate his Thursday performance.

Prema's Frederik Vesti (2m05.776s), who joined the Macau GP grid as a replacement for Jehan Daruvala, slotted in seventh with Jenzer Motorsport's Arjun Maini (2m05.814s) eighth ahead of Armstrong, whose 2m05.955s was enough for a Top 10 finish.

The Top 10 was eventually rounded out by Carlin's Logan Sargeant (2m06.043s) with Habsburg in 11th ahead of Hitech GP's Max Fewtrell. Defending Macau GP winner and Carlin's Dan Ticktum was only 13th after a late crash in FP2.

The British team managed to fix the car on time, with the help of red flag periods, but Ticktum couldn't get going as much. The Top 15 was rounded out by Trident Motorsport's Alessio Lorandi and MP Motorsport's Liam Lawson.

Apart from the red flag for Armstrong and Habsburg, there was an early stoppage as well when Campos Racing's Leonardo Pulcini crashed along with Sauber Junior Team by Charouz's Enzo Fittipaldi. HWA Racelab's Keyvan Andres caused a brief yellow flag.

Position 16-30: Felipe Drugovich, Oliver Caldwell, Sebastian Fernandez, Enaam Ahmed, Yuki Tsunoda, Andres, David Schumacher, Lukas Dunner, David Beckmann, Andreas Estner, Sophia Floersch, Charles Leong, Pulcini, Alessio Deledda, Fittipaldi.

[Image courtesy: Macau GP] [Note: The report was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]

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