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Merhi takes Provisional Pole Position for Macau F3 GP
Robert Merhi fast, but crashed
Roberto Merhi secured provisional pole position during a wet qualifying session for the “SJM” Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix on Thursday, but his session ended in disappointment after he crashed into another car and put himself out.

With rain falling for the start of the 30-minute first qualifying session, drivers were keen to deliver their fast lap while the track was in its best condition.

And it was Merhi who led the way early on, moving to the top of the session after 10 minutes and then improving on his best to deliver a lap that was 1.675 seconds quicker than nearest rival Marco Wittmann.

But with track conditions deteriorating, Merhi made a mistake in the braking zone for Lisboa and slid into the back of Felix Rosenqvist’s car – with the pair crashing into the escape road at the corner.

The incident brought out the red flag for a few minutes and, when the session resumed, it was then Wittmann who hit trouble on the wet track as he slid into the barriers at Lisboa too.

Felipe Nasr ended the day third fastest and, with those ahead of him having encountered trouble, he was happy to have kept his car in one piece.

“Macau in the wet is one of the greatest challenges in motor racing,” said the Carlin driver. “In the first 10 minutes the track conditions were best, but then it started raining even more and we felt it better to come into the pits.”

Daniel Juncadella finished fourth overall, ahead of Alexander Sims, Yuhi Sekiguchi and Hannes van Asseldonk.

Valtteri Bottas managed to make it to the Macau track in time following his journey from the Abu Dhabi F1 test – despite missing a flight by a couple of minutes and suffering a delay on a ferry. He was 27th overall.
Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Behind
1. Roberto Merhi (E) Prema Dallara-Merc 2m28.860s +0.000s
2. Marco Wittmann (D) Signature Dallara-VW 2m30.535s +1.675s
3. Felipe Nasr (BR) Carlin Dallara-VW 2m30.639s +1.779s
4. Daniel Juncadella (E) Prema Dallara-Merc 2m30.867s +2.007s
5. Alexander Sims (GB) TOM'S Dallara-Toyota 2m31.306s +2.446s
6. Yuhi Sekiguchi (J) Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m31.634s +2.774s
7. Hannes van Asseldonk (NL) Hitech Dallara-VW 2m31.891s +3.031s
8. Antonio Felix da Costa (P) Hitech Dallara-VW 2m31.901s +3.041s
9. William Buller (GB) Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m32.295s +3.435s
10. Felix Rosenqvist (S) Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m32.457s +3.597s
11. Lucas Foresti (BR) Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m32.551s +3.691s
12. Kimiya Sato (J) Motopark Dallara-VW 2m32.891s +4.031s
13. Richie Stanaway (NZ) Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 2m32.996s +4.136s
14. Kevin Magnussen (DK) Carlin Dallara-VW 2m33.281s +4.421s
15. Daniel Abt (D) Signature Dallara-VW 2m33.428s +4.568s
16. Jazeman Jaafar (MAL) Carlin Dallara-VW 2m33.588s +4.728s
17. Marko Asmer (EST) Double R Dallara-Merc 2m33.866s +5.006s
18. Laurens Vanthoor (B) Signature Dallara-VW 2m33.881s +5.021s
19. Jimmy Eriksson (S) Motopark Dallara-VW 2m34.034s +5.174s
20. Adderly Fong (HK) Sino Vision Dallara-Merc 2m34.273s +5.413s
21. Carlos Munoz (COL) Signature Dallara-VW 2m34.278s +5.418s
22. Carlos Huertas (COL) Carlin Dallara-VW 2m34.675s +5.815s
23. Hideki Yamauchi (J) Toda Dallara-ondaH 2m34.725s +5.865s
24. Carlos Sainz Jr (E) Signature Dallara-VW 2m34.744s +5.884s
25. Hywel Lloyd (GB) Sino Vision Dallara-Merc 2m34.750s +5.890s
26. Mitch Evans (NZ) Double R Dallara-Merc 2m35.133s +6.273s
27. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Double R Dallara-Merc 2m35.877s +7.017s
28. Pietro Fantin (BR) Hitech Dallara-VW 2m36.057s +7.197s
29. Richard Bradley (GB) TOM'S Dallara-Toyota 2m36.823s +7.963s
30. Hironobu Yasuda (J) Three Bond Dallara-Nissan 2m42.441s +13.581s
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