Joel Eriksson will make an exciting comeback to single-seater competition as he lines up in next month’s FIA Formula 3 World Cup event at the Macau Grand Prix, looking to make amends in the famous street race after retiring from the lead last year.
Eriksson, a works BMW DTM driver in 2018, is set to return to the ultra-demanding Guia Circuit for a third time on November 15-18, reuniting with his former squad Team Motopark in pursuit of the most prestigious title in junior motor racing.
“The Macau Grand Prix is simply the most unique event in racing, and I absolutely can’t wait to get back there for a third time and to reunite with my friends at Team Motopark to give it another go,” says Joel Eriksson. “It’s my favourite circuit in the world and the sensation of pushing the limits around there in a Formula 3 car, literally glancing the walls, is very, very special. I want to thank the team for this opportunity, and also BMW for allowing me to do this.”
20-year-old Eriksson qualified on pole for last year’s event in the Chinese gambling metropolis, and was leading Sunday’s finale when he was frustratingly taken out by a rival driver following a safety car restart.
The 2017 Macau Grand Prix marked Eriksson’s most recent single-seater race, with the Swede having since focussed exclusively on his DTM promotion – becoming the second-youngest race winner in the history of the German-based series back in August.
“I’ve got unfinished business in Macau, and I go there with the intention to finish them,” Eriksson continues. “The car was great last year and I felt we should have won that race on pace, but that’s the thing with Macau; you need that luck on your side as well. It will be a bit different this year, having not competed in F3 during the season, so I think it will be a massive challenge. Still, I hope to be fighting for the win and it will be amazing to be back.”
Staged each year since 1983, the Macau F3 event is the blue-riband race in junior single-seater racing, with almost all of the current Formula 1 drivers having competed in the former Portuguese colony – among them Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
Effectively an end-of-season “world finale”, the standalone race continues to draw top talent from around the globe. The 2018 event features a 28-strong entry list, including the likes of recently-crowned FIA F3 European champion Mick Schumacher – the son of 1990 Macau winner Michael Schumacher.
Team Motopark will field five cars at Macau, with Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT), Juri Vips (EST), Marino Sato (JPN) and last year’s winner Dan Ticktum (GBR) set to join Eriksson in the line-up.
“We are really happy to have Joel back with us for Macau,” says team principal Timo Rumpfkeil. “He was the fastest driver on the track last year, qualifying on pole, and we are all eager to see how he will re-adapt to F3 having not driven it in a year. It will be a big task but he is not your regular driver, so for sure we will be going for the win. Joel is part of the Motopark family and we can’t wait to have him with us again.”
Joel Eriksson was the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship runner-up and won the Masters of F3 at Zandvoort – another esteemed F3 classic – in 2016.
Macau Grand Prix