THE DRIVERS TO WATCH AT MACAU IN 2018
As we count down 65th Macau GP, let's take a look at favourites for the FIA F3 World Cup 2018
After a dramatic end to the 2017 running of the race, which saw Sergio Sette Camara and Ferdinand Habsburg crash out on the last corner of the race, gifting victory to Dan Ticktum, there will be many drivers hoping to pick up the most important win of any junior driver’s career. Here are some of the favourites.
The reigning winner of the race, Ticktum will be looking to defend his crown, and with an extremely strong European F3 season under his belt, should be even faster than he was last year.
Having wrapped the 2018 European F3 championship in style, the young German will be hoping to emulate the successes of his father and his uncle at Macau. All of this combined with the fact that he races for the team with the most wins here, Theodore Racing, should make him a real force to be reckoned with.
After his famous crash at the last corner of the race in 2017, Habsburg will be back wanting to finally claim the top spot at Macau. As well as this, a difficult season in Europe means that he will be racing to prove his talent in the most publicized F3 race of the season.
Having finished in the top 5 in 2017, and having also been a frontrunner in European F3 throughout 2018, Aron will have the added advantage of being a Theodore driver, making him an strong contender for victory. Though he will have to deal with the likes of Schumacher and Ticktum, both of whom beat him in the championship, he could still find himself in victory contention come Sunday.
While teammate Schumacher stole all the headlines in Eurpean F3 this season, Russia's Shwartzman was another driver who stepped his performance come the second half of the season. Though Macau is not an easy track to learn, a strong team combined with a very successful second half of the season will make him a dark horse for the podium battle.
The winner of last year’s qualifying race, Ilott has unifinished business at Macau, crashing out after showing strong pace throughout the weekend last year. Though a year away from the F3 will not make things easy for him, it would not be a surprise to see upfront on race day.
Despite a drop in performance at the end of his European F3 campaign, Armstrong will be hoping to finish his 2018 season with a memorable performance. Another Theodore Racing driver, the New-Zealander will be a strong candidate if he can adapt to the difficult Guia circuit.
After showing promise in 2017, Fenestraz will be disappointed not to have made an impact in 2018. However, a very strong performance from the Renault Junior in the 2017 race makes him a strong contender for victory this year, provided that Carlin are able to overcome their lack of pace in 2018.
Having spent 2018 racing in DTM as a factory BMW driver, Eriksson is another driver with unfinished business at Macau, but a year without any single seater experience will be an added challenge for the Swede. A return to his old team, Motopark, will make the transition back into the F317 easier, an provided he can made the switch, will be a strong contender for the win.
After an impressive rookie F3 season, which has seen him linked to the Red Bull Junior Program, Juri Vips will be looking to put an equally impressive show on at Macau. As with the other rookies, adapting to the circuit quickly will be key, but if he is able to, a win will not be out of the question for the Estonian.
Who do you think will win this year's Macau Grand Prix? Comment below!