Estonian racing driver Jüri Vips (Hitech Racing) finished second at Sunday’s FIA Formula Three Macau Grand Prix in his debut race for the Red Bull Junior team, which he only joined last week.
Vips, 19, from Tallinn, had already clinched pole both ahead of qualifying, and in the qualifying race itself on the streets of the Guia Circuit in the Chinese special administrative district of Macau, a unique race now in its 66th year.
While Vips did not win the race in the end – the honor went to Dutch driver Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) – he is the highest-placed Estonian at the Macau Grand Prix to date, having surpassed Rolf Aron’s third place in 2017.
Following Saturday’s qualifying, Vips said he was pleased but could not rest on his laurels.
“I wouldn’t say I dominated the whole race, because [Russian driver Robert] Shwartzman caught up with me,” he said, according to daily Postimees (link in Estonian).
“The most important thing in this race is just to finish, to not put it into the wall. I think I had a pretty good race; I was able to avoid mistakes and control the lead,” he went on.
After Sunday’s podium finish, Vips maintained a similarly competitive line: “I also wanted to win the main race. I’m feeling confident, because the car is good and the speed is there. We can fight to win,” he added, according to Postimees.
Vips also added that a failed Drag Reduction System (DRS) system and worn tires prevented him from catching the eventual winner.
Red Bull has not commented on its plans for Vips after Macau. FIA Formula 3 is a feeder route for Formula One, the most prestigious motorsport category. It is in its inaugural season, following a merger between the former European Formula Three, and the GP3 Series.