Two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Felix Rosenqvist will launch a fresh attack on the prestigious Far East street race in next month’s 2016 edition, returning to the event’s headline Formula 3 category in pursuit of an unprecedented third straight victory.
After first finishing on the podium in the 2012 running of the city-centre classic, Rosenqvist went on to claim consecutive victories in 2014 and 2015, becoming one of only two drivers in the history of the event (alongside Italy’s Edoardo Mortara) to triumph twice in the world’s most prominent F3 encounter.
For this year, the Macau Grand Prix has received yet further recognition, with the FIA lifting it to official FIA F3 World Cup status. Rosenqvist’s return to the Chinese race will see him re-join forces with SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, the same squad that carried him to last year’s victory and to the 2015 FIA F3 European Championship title. His team-mates will be Maximilian Günther (GER) and Nick Cassidy (NZL).
“Just saying the words “Macau” and “Formula 3” brings a smile to my face, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be racing there once again this year,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It’s the one race in the world that has had the greatest impact on me and my career, and when the prospect of doing it again with Prema came up, it was simply too tempting an opportunity. I’ve stayed in close contact with the team throughout the season and our relationship goes beyond just winning a number of races together. I really can’t wait to get back out on track in Macau and experiencing that driving sensation again; you can’t get it anywhere else.”
Rosenqvist has spent the 2016 season combining race-winning campaigns in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and US-based single-seater series Indy Lights, while also contesting the final four rounds of Germany’s popular DTM touring car championship with Mercedes-AMG DTM. The Swedish 24-year-old will contest the Macau Grand Prix for the seventh time of his career when the international motorsport fraternity descends on the former Portuguese colony on November 17-20.
“I won’t have raced in F3 for 12 months, but I think the experience I have will be more than sufficient,” Rosenqvist concludes. “I’ve done the race so many times now, but there will be some new challenges and unknowns this year. We will race on Pirelli tyres for the first time, and that could have quite an impact on the relevance of previous data etcetera. It’s going to be a big task, but I’m back to try and win the race for a third time and that’s my very clear target.”
Felix Rosenqvist is currently on site in Hong Kong, just a short boat trip from Macau, for this weekend’s opening round of the all-electric 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship. The Hong Kong ePrix takes place on Sunday.