The 59th edition of the Formula 3 Grand Prix of Macau won't be remembered as one of the most rewarding ones for Prema Powerteam. The Italian-based squad lined-up at the Guia Racetrack as the favourite after having cruised to win in 2011. Prema was relying on 2011 winner Daniel Juncadella - and the Spaniard also won the FIA European F.3 Championship and the F.3 Euro Series this season.
Unfortunately, the results of Sunday's main race were well behind the team's expectations. Juncadella, who had scored 3rd place in Qualifying before rounding out the top-5 in the qualification heat, hit the barriers at R-Bend while he was running fourth with his Mercedes-powered Dallara. Although he was able to make his way back to the pits, he was forced to retire due to the resulting damage.
Raffaele Marciello ended the day as the leading man of the Prema stable. The Italian Ferrari Driver Academy racer, lining-up for the first time at Macau, proved fast and consistent. His 8th-place finish was an excellent achievement for the whole team after the 10th place scored in qualifying.
Fellow Macau rookie Sven Muller finished the race in 19th, the same position he had earned in qualifying, while Hannes Van Asseldonk, who just missed the top-10 on Friday, retired after just a few kilometers.
"We came here to see one of their drivers celebrate on the podium - told Team Principal Angelo Rosin - and we fought hard to accomplish this feature. Juncadella confirmed to be one of the fastest men of the pack but paid the price of a contact. That's how it goes at Macau, which is a tough venue where it's easy to make mistakes. That said, Daniel is still one of the greatest racers of the Macau GP, and he clearly demonstrated his skills on-track this season.
"Marciello did an awesome job as he kept his name into the top-10 all the time, and Van Asseldonk performed great as well even though he hit the barriers on Race Day. Muller seemed to have a tougher time than his team-mates, but he did a very good job in terms of race pace and brought his car to the end unscattered. Now we'll be off for a short break, but we'll be back to work really soon in order to prepare for 2013".