Felix came out on top of a dramatic second qualifying session for the 2014 Macau Grand Prix to secure pole position for Saturday’s Qualification Race, heading Esteban Ocon and Max Verstappen as he set a blistering pace around the streets of the Chinese peninsula.
After heading the times in this morning’s free practice session, Felix went into qualifying as one of the favourites for pole, and duly delivered in style as he threw in a scorching 2m11.506s best to deny Lotus F1 junior Ocon by 0.236 seconds. Third-placed Verstappen, who has already signed an F1 deal with Scuderia Toro Rosso for 2015, ended up just a further 0.005s in arrears, with Felix’s Mücke Motorsport team-mate Lucas Auer in fourth.
Both Ocon and Verstappen will have to serve two-place grid penalties for tomorrow’s Qualification Race, however, effectively leaving the path open for a Mücke Motorsport front row lock out.
Felix set his time without a slipstream on the ultra-long run to Lisboa, suggesting there was room for further improvement, but made up for it by setting a storming pace in the twisty, wall-lined mountain section where he comfortably headed his opposition.
The Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race starts at 13.45 local time tomorrow.
“A great day. It felt quite good in practice this morning, and qualifying just confirmed that. It all went the way we were hoping for it to. There is a lot of talk about slipstreaming around here, but I actually never focussed on that and instead just tried to find the right rhythm. I’m happy it paid off. The team has worked hard since yesterday and this is a good reward for everyone.
“It’s cool to be on pole for the Macau Grand Prix, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be an advantage for tomorrow. There is a long, long run down to Lisboa, and I’ve experienced first hand just how difficult it can be if you’re not having a tow on that straight. People tend to just fly by. You need to have a good plan, and I think I do. It’s vital to finish among the top three or four in the Qualification Race, so that will be my aim for tomorrow.”