Jean-Karl Vernay grabbed victory in the Macau Grand Prix qualification race on Saturday with a dominant performance at the front of the field. The Signature driver, who started from second on the grid, took the lead away from the line but was repassed by pole winner Marcus Ericsson on the run down to Lisboa.
Following a brief safety car period, caused when Jake Rosenzweig crashed heavily at Mandarin Bend on the first lap, Vernay moved back to the front when he dived past Ericsson into Lisboa at the restart on lap four. Vernay then pulled clear, while behind him Ericsson had a tough time fighting off the attention of Edoardo Mortara.
Although Mortara did get past Ericsson on lap eight, the move was made under yellow flags so Mortara gave the position back – just as another safety car came out to retrieve Wayne Boyd's crashed Hitech machine from the exit of Mandarin. The race then finished behind the safety car, with Vernay taking the win from Ericsson and Mortara.
Vallteri Bottas finished fourth, with Laurens Vanthoor fifth and Daniel Ricciardo sixth.
F3 Euro Series champion Jules Bianchi crashed into the wall at San Francisco Bend on the opening lap after jumping over the left-rear wheel of third-placed Edoardo Mortara. He managed to get the car back to the pits for repairs, rejoined and made his way back up to 21st by the end.
Another of the event's frontrunners, Brendon Hartley, finished 24th after hitting the back of Stefano Coletti while fighting for eighth place early in the race.
Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap
1. Jean-Karl Vernay Signature D/V 31m52.192s
2. Marcus Ericsson TOM'S D/T + 0.271s
3. Edoardo Mortara Signature D/V + 1.094s
4. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M + 1.587s
5. Laurens Vanthoor Signature D/V + 2.178s
6. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V + 4.598s
7. Sam Bird ART D/M + 6.093s
8. Takuto Iguchi TOM'S D/T + 6.665s
9. Roberto Merhi Manor D/M + 8.072s
10. Mika Maki Hitech D/V + 9.250s
11. Renger van der Zande Double R D/M + 9.720s
12. Yuji Kunimoto Now D/T + 10.493s
13. Alexander Sims Double R D/M + 10.769s
14. Victor Garcia Fortec D/M + 11.149s
15. Max Chilton Carlin D/V + 11.627s
16. Kei Cozzolino Toda D/H + 13.395s
17. Stef Dusseldorp Kolles & Heinz D/V + 14.531s
18. Kouki Saga La Beausset D/T + 19.317s
19. Carlos Huertas Manor D/M + 20.060s
20. Daniel Zampieri Prema D/M + 20.292s
21. Jules Bianchi ART D/M + 20.624s
22. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M + 21.332s
23. Alexandre Imperatori Kolles & Heinz D/V + 21.974s
24. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/V + 22.262s
25. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M + 23.145s
26. Michael Ho Manor D/M + 24.222s
Wayne Boyd Hitech D/V 6 laps
Henry Arundel Carlin D/V 5 laps
Jake Rosenzweig Fortec D/M 0 laps