Räikkönen Robertson Racing endured a frustrating end to its Macau challenge on Sunday, as lead driver Roberto Streit was involved in a race-stopping incident on only the opening lap of the feature outing.
Having proved himself to be amongst the top three drivers throughout the week, Streit finished third in Saturday's qualification race, the position he would take on the grid for Sunday's 55th Macau Grand Prix.
As the lights went out, he made a strong start as the field thundered down the main straight. In an effort to pass Edoardo Mortara, the Brazilian moved over onto the inside line, but his race would soon came to an abrupt halt when he made contact with Sam Bird on the right-hand side. With a severely damaged car, Streit was forced to retire on the spot.
“I was really hoping for a good result today,” the 24-year-old rued, “a podium, or even a win, but unfortunately it wasn't to be. After the start I moved over to the right-hand side of the track. I thought I could pass Mortara if I had the inside line.
“I knew Sam was behind me, but I didn't realise he was to my right as I moved across. I'm really sorry that it ended both our races; it wasn't in my interest to block him, I was just trying to make up places in an effort to challenge for the victory.”
Team-mate Atte Mustonen also made contact with the walls, but was able to continue to the chequered flag to finish 17th, whilst fellow Double R pilot Michael Ho crossed the line in 20th position in his home race.
“Roberto has been extremely quick all week,” reflected team principal Anthony Hieatt, “and it's a great shame he didn't get chance to show what he was capable of today.
“It was always going to be difficult for Atte starting so far down the grid; it's hard to overtake here, and there's more chance of being involved in accidents at the back. Considering the pace we've shown this week, it's been a disappointing end to this year's event.”