Edoardo Mortara admitted that success in the annual Macau F3 Grand Prix was the ideal way to end a difficult season after he saw off the challenge of Signature team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay around the challenging street circuit.
Mortara had taken third place in the qualifying race to set him up well for the main event and the Italian made a good start to jump into the lead before being repassed by Vernay.
Reclaiming the lead just a matter of laps from the end, Mortara held on to secure victory at the end of a year that failed to go to plan in GP2 – where victory in Barcelona was followed by just two more points finishes through the remainder of the season.
"I love Macau,” he said. “The track is a great challenge. My team, Signature, always had the correct set-up ready for my car throughout the entire weekend. I was second last year and I noticed immediately this year that the car is even faster.
“In the qualification race I was involved in a light collision with another driver. Luckily my car didn't suffer any serious damage. I overtook Marcus Ericsson – however during under the yellow flag which I hadn't seen. My team informed me immediately that I should let him past again, which I did so I didn't run the risk of getting a penalty.
“In today's race I had a great battle with Jean Karl. He made a small mistake just before the finish. I caught up and was able to overtake him shortly afterwards. I dedicate this victory to Volkswagen and Signature who smoothed the way for this victory. Nothing better could have happened to me to end this difficult year on a high note.”
With Vernay taking second place, Volkswagen was able to celebrate a 1-2 finish and VW motorsport director Kris Nissen admitted he was thrilled with another trophy to end a successful season.
"Volkswagen can look back over a fantastic year in Formula 3,” he said. “We won two championship and the Macau Grand Prix the world's most important Formula 3 race. Also thanks to the power and performance of our engine. I'm very proud of this victory.
“Our drivers Edoardo Mortara and Jean Karl Vernay and team Signature worked faultlessly throughout the entire weekend. I'm delighted about the team spirit the two showed. They were fair during their battle and thus presented Volkswagen with this important one-two finish. Both drivers are winners for me, they both deserved victory.”