Macau Grand Prix Preview Part Three

Here is the third and final installment of my preview for the 66th Macau Grand Prix. If you want to look at part one it’s here and for part two it’s here. This race always provides drama and intrigue and the roll call of previous winners is like a who’s who of Formula One racers.

The likes of Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and George Russell have competed for the win in recent seasons. Let’s take a look at the final portion of the impressive 30-car entry list.

#24 Jenzer Motorsport Dallara F3 2019: Andreas Estner

Andreas Estner will be looking to build on a tough debut season at this level. The German was solid if unspectacular in ADAC F4, and this has followed him in 2019. He remains with Jenzer for Macau, although with impressive team mate Yuki Tsunoda jumping to Hitech, he may be forced into a leadership role at the team.

Estner is making his debut at Macau this year so it’s likely he’ll use this year to gain experience, before hopefully returning next year to build on his debut campaign.

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2019 has been tough for Estner, in what can be classed as learning year before potentially returning next year. Photo: Motorsport.com.

#25 Sauber Junior Team by Charouz Dallara F3 2019: Callum Ilott

Callum Ilott returns to Macau looking for victory on his fifth attempt. The Brit drops from FIA F2 for a chance of an elusive victory in Macau. The Ferrari junior does it with the Sauber backed Charouz team, a team that struggled in their first season at this level.

The Ferrari academy prospect has been in contention in previous years, but due to bad luck his best result remains 5th in 2016. Although he’s running with an unfancied team and he lacks experience with this new 2019 spec F3 machine, Ilott is a dark horse to upset the full season contenders in this one-off showpiece.

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Ilott has plenty of Macau experience, but none with the new 2019 F3 Dallara. Macau levels the playing field, so could his win on his fifth attempt? Photo: Motorsport.com.

#26 Sauber Junior Team by Charouz Dallara F3 2019: David Schumacher

The Schumacher name has a new chapter in motorsport, with David Schumacher following in the footsteps of father Ralf along with uncle Michael and cousin Mick. Schumacher raced to 4th in the Formula Regional European Championship, with only a solitary round of FIA F3 racing in the season finale at Sochi.

His results showed his lack of seat time in the car, and with only two seasons of racing experience having a team mate like Ilott will be a massive help. This years entry is about gaining experience, as he builds up to a likely promotion into FIA F3 full time in 2020.

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David Schumacher endured a difficult debut FIA F3 weekend in Sochi, but it’s good experience for a potential entry in 2020. Photo: FIA F3.

#27 Sauber Junior Team by Charouz Dallara F3 2019: Enzo Fittipaldi 

The famous names continue at Charouz, with Ferrari academy driver Enzo Fittipaldi joining the Ferrari affiliated team for Macau. The young Brazilian grandson of double world champion Emerson joins after a highly successful season in the Formula Regional European series.

He finished 2nd to runaway champion Frederik Vesti, and both step up for Macau before a likely full season move into the series next year. Fittipaldi has justified the hype so far in his career, and he could add to that with a strong performance on his debut in Macau.

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Enzo Fittipaldi in action in the FREC championship this year. How well will he adapt to a new team, car and circuit in Macau? Photo: Scuderia Ferrari.

#28 Carlin Buzz Racing Dallara F3 2019: Logan Sargeant

Logan Sargeant has found the going tough in FIA F3 this year, his first in F3 after stepping up from the Formula Renault Eurocup. With an inexperienced driver line-up the team struggled. Sargeant secured four points finishes, but with a best result of eighth.

The American is a promising prospect, but may struggle with a lack of experience at Macau. For Sargeant a top ten result would be a confidence boost and something to build upon in 2020.

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Logan Sargeant is hoping to buck the recent trend of American drivers finding it tough to reach F1. He has plenty of potential, something we will see more often next year in F3. Photo: FIA F3.

#29 Carlin Buzz Racing Dallara F3 2019: Felipe Drugovich

Felipe Drugovich found the going tough in FIA F3 this year, much like fellow rookie and team mate Logan Sargeant. Both struggled for most of the year, although Drugovich did score a top six result in Hungary for his only score of the season.

The reigning Euroformula Open champion couldn’t get the new generation Dallara to his liking, but sticking with Carlin for Macau will help his adjustment with this unique street circuit. The Brazilian has shown his talent in other series so 2019 can be put down to a learning year before a crack at the title in 2020.

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Drugovich joined the series with some promise as a dominant Euroformula Open champion, but found the going much tougher at the FIA F3 level. Photo: FIA F3.

#30 Carlin Buzz Racing Dallara F3 2019: Dan Ticktum

2019 promised so much for Dan Ticktum, but it’s hard to think of how it could have gone any worse. He began the year with an outside chance of a Toro Rosso F1 seat, yet fast forward eleven months and he has been dropped by Red Bull and lost his Super Formula seat in Japan.

The decision to drop him less than a year after winning a second Macau Grand Prix was premature, and Ticktum looks to rebuild his reputation by making history as a three time consecutive winner in Macau. He lacks experience with the 2019 spec Dallara, but he still has a good chance of victory.

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Dan Ticktum began the year on the cusp of a F1 seat, but ends it looking for redemption in Macau after the toughest year of his career so far. Photo: Motorsport.com.

#31 Campos Racing Dallara F3 2019: Alessio Deledda 

Alessio Deledda endured a difficult 2019, struggling to adapt to the FIA F3 series. He only has two years of car racing experience, and to step into such a highly competitive championship was always going to be tough.

He remains with Campos for his first crack at Macau, although with a best finish of 16th all season simply finishing and gaining more experience for next year would be a good weekend for the Italian driver.

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Alessio Deledda has struggling mightily in FIA F3 this year, so gaining experience before a return next year is perfect for him. Photo: FIA F3.

#32 Campos Racing Dallara F3 2019: Enaam Ahmed

Enaam Ahmed returns to FIA F3 after a year spent racing in Japan. The Brit showed potential in his debut year in 2018, with two wins and 9th in the standings. Moving to the Japanese F3 series this year, he finished a distant 3rd.

Campos struggled this year, and their line-up for Macau suggests Ahmed will be leading the line this year. Having crashed out on his debut last year, he will hope he can test himself well against the next wave of talented junior drivers.

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Enaam Ahmed moved from Europe to Japan this year, and acquitted himself well as he looks to start his professional career in Asia. Photo: Enaam Ahmed/ThreeBond Racing.

#33 Campos Racing Dallara F3 2019: Leonardo Pulcini   

Italian Leonardo Pulcini moves across from Hitech GP, securing a late deal to join Campos Racing for Macau. He drove for Campos last year in GP3, securing an impressive 4th behind the ART GP domination. He struggled to adjust as well to the FIA F3 spec Dallara, with eighth and one win a backwards step.

Campos as a team struggled in 2019, and with a lack of Macau experience they may find it a frustrating weekend. Pulcini has obvious talent, but inexperience and a struggling team may hinder his progress. A top six would be an amazing end to his season.

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Leonardo Pulcini racing for Hitech GP in the FIA F3 series this year. Photo: FIA F3.

That wraps up the third and final part of my preview for the upcoming Macau Grand Prix. This race always delivers exciting racing and will feel like the end-of season party for the FIA F3 community. If you have any thoughts on this topic either comment below or find me on Twitter @JWjournalism. Finally, a massive thank you to everyone who read this article I really appreciate it!

 

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