The best young drivers, the most challenging city street circuit, a unique setting and a wealth of history: The Macau Grand Prix is rightfully regarded as the impressive culmination of the Formula 3 season. Every year the guard barrier channel through the bustling port city sees the top drivers of the Formula 3 championships in Europe and Asia compete against each other. In 2009 and 2010 Edoardo Mortara was the winner, both times running with Volkswagen Power. After Mortara managed to climb up into the DTM the next year group is now setting its sights on the prestigious victory. With a total of 15 drivers from twelve nations, including the new British Champion, Felipe Nasr (Brazil) the ATS Formula 3 Cup Champion, Richie Stanaway (New Zealand) and the two Germans Marco Wittmann and Daniel Abt, the major portion of the field relies on the near-210-HP four-cylinder engines from Wolfsburg.
"Every year the best young drivers meet on the outskirts of Hong Kong to compete on what is arguably the world's most challenging city circuit. The track combines long straights and extremely narrow turns and therefore requires an engine that delivers both, high power output and good driveability. In addition, driving skills are more important here than at most other race tracks,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "With seven victories, Volkswagen is one of the most successful engine manufacturers at the Macau event. Our aim must be to continue our two triumphs from 2009 and 2010 and our successful statistics.”
Strong six-some from the Formula 3 Euro Series – Carlos Sainz jr. as "rookie”
The Volkswagen customer team Signature will be competing at Macau in full force. After two consecutive victories with Edoardo Mortara the French team from the Euro Series is relying on the two Germans Marco Wittmann and Daniel Abt, Carlos Muñoz from Columbia and the Belgian Laurens Vanthoor, who finished as the runner-up last year. New in the team is Carlos Sainz jr., the son of World Rally Champion and Dakar winner Carlos Sainz. The merely 17-year-old Spaniard is a rookie at the Formula 3 Grand Prix, but not to the Macau circuit. In 2010 the Red Bull Junior shone there as a guest entrant, clinching victory at the Formula BMW Asia-Pacific. In this season Sainz jr., as the youngest driver of all, took the title in the North European Formula Renault Championship and will contest the Formula 3 Euro Series season finale at Hockenheim (21–23 October) in preparation for Macau. The Motopark team is fielding two single-seat race cars "powered by Volkswagen” for the Japanese Kimiya Sato and Jimmy Eriksson from Sweden.
Champions from Great Britain and Germany on the grid with Volkswagen
With four near-210-HP Dallara-Volkswagen cars the Carlin customer team is travelling to the former Portuguese colony. The four-strong driver line-up is led by the new British champion Felipe Nasr, who is joined by "vice champion” Carlos Huertas from Columbia, the Dane Kevin Magnussen, who finished the championship in third place, and Jazeman Jafaar from Malaysia. Hitech Racing, who are running in the British Championship with Volkswagen Power as well, have submitted entries for Pietro Fantin (Brazil), António Félix da Costa (Portugal) and Hannes van Asseldonk (the Netherlands). The ATS Formula 3 Cup is represented by Frits van Amersfoort's championship winning team. Richie Stanaway, the dominating champion in Germany's highest-ranking formula racing series – like van Asseldonk, Eriksson, Fantin, Magnussen and Sainz – will contest the event that is officially called the "FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup” on the 6.120-kilometre city circuit for the first time.
Macau: the Volkswagen victories at the Formula 3 Grand Prix
1984 John Nielsen (DK), Ralt RT3 Volkswagen
1985 Maurício Gugelmin (BR), Ralt RT30 Volkswagen
1986 Andy Wallace (GB), Reynard 863 Volkswagen
1989 David Brabham (AUS), Ralt RT33 Volkswagen
1990 Michael Schumacher (D), Reynard 903 Volkswagen
2009 Edoardo Mortara (I), Dallara F309 Volkswagen
2010 Edoardo Mortara (I), Dallara F309 Volkswagen
Macau: the most successful engine manufacturers
Toyota and Volkswagen, 7 victories each; Opel, 4; Mugen-Honda and Mercedes-Benz, 3 each; Renault, 2; Alfa-Romeo and Fiat, 1 each.
Macau: the timetable
Thursday, 17 November 2011
10.55–11.40 Formula 3 Free practice (45 min)
14.40–15.10 Formula 3 1st qualifying (30 min)
Friday, 18 November 2011
11.00–11.45 Formula 3 Free practice (45 min)
14.35–15.05 Formula 3 2nd qualifying (30 min)
Saturday, 19 November 2011
14.00–14.50 Formula 3 Qualification race (10 laps)
Sunday, 20 November 2011
15.30–16.30 Formula 3 Grand Prix (15 laps)