What is the Macau GP and which F1 star has won the race?

What is the Macau GP and which F1 star has won the race?
What is the Macau GP and which F1 star has won the race?

The cars of Formula 3 will make a triumphant return to Macau this weekend for the 70th edition of the historic Macau GP, but what exactly is it?

The Macau GP is a stage outside the official F3 season, but cars in the category have not done so since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is considered a stepping stone to higher series of motorsport, as it was won by several world-famous drivers before they achieved stardom.

The race is held on the streets of Macau, a city facing the South China Sea. It is just one of two world GPs not on the Formula 1 calendar, the New Zealand GP being the other. To celebrate its 70th anniversary, organizers expanded this year’s event into two weekends.

The opening weekend (11/12 November) had mainly domestic and Asian series races – TCR Asia Challenge, for example – while the next ones (16-19 November) will be the international races.

The F3 race is the highlight of the event. Even if no points are scored for the championship, whoever wins the Macau GP becomes champion of the F3 World Championship, last won by the current Formula 2 driver, Richard Verschoor.

But it’s not just about four-wheeled vehicles. This is the only street race that features cars and motorcycles competing over the weekend. Two-wheel legends from the Isle of Man TT, the British Superbike Championship and the World Superbike Championship have competed in Macau, including Carl Fogartywho won the race in 1992.

Then there are also the big touring cars. GT3 specification cars compete in the FIA ​​GT World Cup, with the 2022 champion, Maro Engel, doing so in a Mercedes-AMG GT3. Therefore, it is an event for all forms of motorsport, and here is everything you need to know about the Macau GP.

History of the Macau GP

The Macau GP debuted in 1954, but was originally just an amateur race held for local motorsport enthusiasts. It was only 12 years later that a professional team entered, when Mauro Bianchi won for Alpine-Renault.

His victory increased the event’s exposure and the following year the motorcycle race was introduced. The race was won by Hiroshi Hasegawa, but the race was marked by tragedy. Arsenio Laurel, two-time GP winner in 1962-63, skidded his Lotus 41 and crashed into the circuit wall to avoid hitting spectators. However, as soon as he hit the wall, his car caught fire and killed him before the police arrived at the scene.

Laurel was the first tragedy of the Macau GP, so it demonstrated to people how dangerous the race can be considering the challenges of the street circuits. The motorsport community was shaken, but the event returned for another year.

In 1968, John MacDonald became the first – and still only – driver to win the event on two and four wheels. In the following years, the popularity of the event grew, but so did the number of deaths, as five competitors were killed during the 1970s, including several spectators, in 1974 when Dieter Glemser’s car spun and crashed into an unprotected crowd.

But despite the increase in deaths, the event was not canceled and 1983 saw the introduction of F3 cars following the demise of Formula Pacific. However, initially the organizers did not want F3. Instead, the aim was F2, but major modifications to the circuit would be required to accommodate the cars – cutting down trees, for example – and the organizers were unwilling to do such a thing.

Thus, the F3 cars were adapted for the race and began a new era for the event, with the participation of many future big-name drivers. It quickly became a must-attend race for young drivers aspiring to make it to F1, which as a result further increased the event’s reputation.

The fatalities continued to happen. In 2000, Frans Verschuur’s Renault Megane suffered brake failure which caused it to crash into the tire barrier before colliding with a parked car, a truck and several pedestrians, one of whom died, while the driver escaped with only back injuries. and on the legs.

More deaths followed, but safety improvements were inevitably made. A relief for Sophia Floersch, who suffered a spinal fracture in 2018 that could have been much more.

She rear-ended Jehan Daruvala, who appeared to have slowed down due to the incorrectly waved yellow flags, which caused her to spin sideways towards the barrier. Her car then jumped back and lifted slightly when it hit a curb. When this happened, she hit the roof of Sho Tsuboi’s car before driving into the fence.

The previous year, kurb restrictions were introduced to manage track limits, but this appeared to have been a key factor in saving Floersch’s life. The curb was what lifted Floersch into the air and only hit Tsuboi’s car, rather than hitting him directly into the side of his cabin.

Several years earlier, organizers also increased the height of the fence she crashed into, which proved crucial in absorbing much of the energy from the crash despite her passing through it. However, it was still a horrific incident and one that left many fans calling for the event to be cancelled.

The prestigious race continued, but only on a national level in subsequent years because of COVID-19. From 2020 to 2022, Chinese F4 cars competed in the Macau GP while the motorcycle race was not held. But when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in China, it paved the way for F3’s return, and the series signed a three-year deal from 2023.

F1 drivers who won the Macau GP

The Macau GP was won by 15 drivers who started an F1 race, two of whom became world champions. Ayrton Senna took the checkered flag at the first F3 Macau GP in 1983, while Michael Schumacheraged 21, achieved a controversial victory in 1990. He arrived as German F3 champion, while Mikka Hakkinen was the British F3 champion.

The two were therefore separated that weekend, and Hakkinen won the first race with a 2s7 advantage over Schumacher. This meant he only needed to finish 2.7 seconds behind his German rival to win the 1990 Macau GP, as the winner was determined by the combined time of both races.

In the second race, the Finn tried to stay safe behind Schumacher, but was much faster. Then, on the last lap, he attempted an overtake by moving to the right on the main straight, but Schumacher suddenly copied him.

This caused Hakkinen to hit the back of Schumacher and spin into the barriers, while the German won the entire race despite crossing the line without a rear wing. It is seen as an incident that fueled their heated rivalry throughout the 1990s.

Senna’s victory, in turn, was much less controversial. He dominated the first race from pole and took victory by six seconds, before making it two wins from two in the second race. Schumacher and Senna won the race just once, with Vern Schuppan, Ricciardo Patrese It is Geoff Lees being the only F1 stars to win the Macau GP title on multiple occasions.

However, they have nothing to do with MacDonald, who holds the record for most Macau GP victories, with four. Then, of course, there are other F1 drivers who competed in the race but didn’t win it. This includes names like Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris who competed in 2014, 2015 and 2017 respectively, while the three-time F1 champion is the only one of the trio who did not reach the podium.

F1 drivers who won the Macau GP


Dieter Quester


Vern Schuppan

1974, 1976

Riccardo Patrese


Geoff Lees


Roberto Moreno


Ayrton Senna


Mauricio Gugelmin


Martin Donnelly


David Brabham


Michael Schumacher

nineteen ninety

David Coulthard


Ralf Schumacher


Ralph Firman


Takuma Sato


Lucas diGrassi


Who will compete in the 2023 Macau GP?




Current championship competing

Trident Motorsport


Richard Verschoor

Formula 2


Roman Stanek

Formula 2


Ugo Ugochukwu

Italian F4 Championship

Jenzer Motorsport


Max Esterson

GB3 Championship


Charlie Wurz

Euroformula Open Championship


Matias Zagazeta

Formula Regional European Championship

Prema Racing


Dino Beganovic

Formula 3


Gabriele Mini

Formula 3


Paul Aron

Formula 3

Hitech Grand Prix


Luke Browning

Formula 3


Isaac Hadjar

Formula 2


Alex Dunne

GB3 Championship

Campos Racing


Pepe Marti

Formula 3


Sebastian Montoya

Formula 3


Oliver Goethe

Formula 3

Van Amersfoort Racing


Noel Leon

Euroformula Open Championship


Sophia Floersch

Formula 3


Tommy Smith

Formula 3

ART Grand Prix


Laurens van Hoepen

Formula Regional European Championship


Christian Mansell

Formula 3


Nikola Tsolov

Formula 3

Carlin Motorsport


Zane Maloney

Formula 2


Dan Ticktum

Formula E




MP Motorsport


Dennis Hauger

Formula 2


Mari Boya

Formula 3


Marcus Armstrong


2023 Macau GP Calendar

Thursday, November 16
Macau GP Free Practice 1: 8pm Brasília
Qualification 1 of the Macau GP: 2h Brasília (17th)

Friday, November 17th
Free Practice 2 of the Macau GP: 8:30 pm Brasília
Macau GP Qualifying 2: 2h15 (day 18)

Saturday, November 18
Qualifying race for the Macau GP: 2h50 (day 19)

Sunday, November 19th
F3 World Championship Macau GP: 2h30 (20th)

How to watch the 2023 Macau GP

The action for F3 begins on Thursday with the first practice and qualifying sessions of the weekend. The second part of both sessions takes place the following day, which sets up the two races on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday the Qualifying Race takes place where the grid is decided by the combined results of Thursday and Friday qualifying, and there are 10 laps to determine the starting order of the main event. Sunday features the highly anticipated 15-lap Macau GP, where drivers will battle to be the latest name in Macau history.

Everything will be available via Motorsport TV, which also broadcast live the opening weekend from Macau. The broadcast can be accessed at the link below.

Macau Formula 3 GP live stream:

But it’s not just about F3 racing at the Guia Circuit this weekend. In between all the F3 action, there will be other races to keep the public entertained, including the Macau GT Cup. This will also be broadcast live on Motorsport TV via the link below.

Live broadcast of the Macau GT Cup race: https://motorsport.tv/motorsporttv/video/70th-macau-gp-macau-gt-cup-fia-gt-world-cup-race/190023

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Macau star won race



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