Edoardo Mortara maintained his position at the top of the times for this weekend's Windsor Arch Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix when he led the way in Friday's incident-filled final free practice session.
The Signature Plus driver, who has been quickest in every session so far this weekend, made the most of a tow from another car down the long straight into Mandarin Bend before setting his best lap ten minutes into practice, but admitted afterwards to being a little surprised to be fastest overall having spent the session mainly focusing on race set-up.
“Everything was okay,” the Italian said, “We just wanted to prepare for the race this morning, so I was not expecting to be first at the end. It looks good for qualifying, the car feels fine and I am happy.”
Mortara's closest rival was TOM'S driver Carlo van Dam, who ended the session just 0.117secs behind. He was also thankful that a braking mistake heading into Lisboa late on in the session did not result in him hitting the barriers. Instead, he just went up the escape road and harmlessly came to a stop.
“We've made some good steps with the car, but it is hard to say exactly where we are because the tyres we are using are now quite old,” van Dam admitted, “That was why I pushed a little too hard and made that mistake under braking. But everything looks like it is heading in the right direction.”
Italian Kei Cozzolino was third fastest for the Now Motor Sports team, with British F3 champion Jaime Alguersuari fourth quickest – but hitting trouble late on when he crashed at San Francisco Bend, badly damaging the left hand side of his car and ripping off his rear wing.
Alguersuari's accident brought out the second red flag of the session, with practice being stopped earlier after 20 minutes when Nicola de Marco's stranded RC Motorsport car was judged to have been left in a dangerous position after he spun at Fishermen's Bend. The Italian remains a doubt for this afternoon's second qualifying session.