Macao, 17 November – The deciding race at the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix brought little luck for Raffaele Marciello, who was forced to retire on the ninth lap. The 18-year-old Ferrari Driver Academy racer started from third on the grid and made a good getaway that took him just behind his team-mate and pole man Alex Lynn. But on the straight leading to the Mandarin corner Marciello saw his chances of fighting for victory compromised thanks to contact with Rosenqvist’s car. “We were at high speed and I saw a car by my side that was getting ever closer,” explained Marciello. “I thought it would stop but that wasn’t the case. The contact made me swerve at a point when we were going over 200kmh but I was lucky: I managed to keep control of the car and stay in the race.”
After coming round in fifth place at the end of the first lap, Raffaele began his fight back through the field, forcefully passing first the car of Sims, then that of Dirani. “I pushed very hard to gain ground,” said Raffaele. “Unfortunately the collision soon after the start affected the balance of my car. When I managed to get back up to third place I pushed really hard to reach Felix Da Costa, but I didn’t have enough top speed to get into his tow. I believe the reason was that my balance was no longer at its best, so I couldn’t get the best exit from the corners leading to the straights.”
It was indeed at the ‘R-Bend’, the corner that leads to the start-finish straight, where Marciello crashed into the barriers on lap nine, prematurely ending his race. “Macau is a unique race,” concluded Marciello. “There are no points at stake but it is remembered for its victors. I tried to push knowing that I was running some risks. At the ‘R-Bend’ it was important to exit with as much speed as possible to have a chance to attack the car in front at the end of the long straight. Unfortunately I went a bit too far, a question of centimetres, but I hit the barriers at high speed and broke the left front suspension.”
The Macau Grand Prix victory went to Alexander Lynn, Marciello’s team-mate who brought home the spoils for the Prema team. The Asian race also brought Marciello’s experience in Formula 3 to an end. Next week the FDA driver will be on the track at the Spanish circuit of Alcaniz for a three-day test with a Formula Renault 3.5, a test focused on collecting information that will be helpful for the launch of his 2014 plans.