SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA recorded a double top six result in the 65th Macau Grand Prix, with all five drivers reaching the chequered flag in a hugely competitive race.
Mick Schumacher led the team’s charge to claim a fifth-place finish, ahead of Ralf Aron in sixth position, Marcus Armstrong in eighth and Robert Shwartzman in ninth. Guanyu Zhou finished a fine 11th having started at the back of the grid in 28th.
At the lights, Schumacher held his sixth-place starting position during the early stages of the race, although trying his best efforts to pass Illot after an intense wheel to wheel battle with the Brit. Behind, a great getaway by Aron allowed the Estonian to ascend from ninth to seventh, ahead of fellow SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA drivers Armstrong and Shwartzman.
However, the race was called to a halt on lap four following a horrific accident involving another driver at the Lisboa corner, leading to a lengthy hiatus whilst injured parties were tended to by emergency crews.
With the race resuming under safety car conditions, Schumacher timed his restart to perfection to execute a brilliant pass into fifth place round-the-outside of Lisboa, before Aron followed through a lap later to move into sixth place himself. From here the pair would consolidate their positions over the remaining laps to take the chequered flag inside the top six.
Close behind, Armstrong and Shwartzman tallied up impressive top ten results on their Macau Grand Prix debut in eighth and ninth positions respectively, the Ferrari Driver Academy proteges finishing as the top two rookies.
Starting from the back of the grid in 28th after an incident in the Qualifying Race, Zhou produced a fine effort to progress to 11th position at the chequered flag. With the Chinese racer making up more positions than any other driver, it ensured all five SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA drivers reached the finish inside the top eleven.
At this time the entire SJM Theodore Racing by PREMA team would like to send all their best wishes to everyone involved in the incident at Lisboa.
# 8 - Guanyu Zhou
"After yesterday, the target was to enjoy the race which I did. I'm happy to have finished the final race of the year in overtaking mode. I put together the biggest recovery. I made a good start, good first lap and then managed from there. I'm happy with what we achieved today."
# 9 - Mick Schumacher
"I would have wished for more this weekend but obviously it did not work out the way we wanted. We really tried the best. In terms of single performance, we didn't put everything together in qualifying and that made things really difficult. However, it was great to be in Macau again. It's a special track, I love racing here and I love seeing the support to the whole team. I hope the best for everybody who has been injured today."
# 10 - Ralf Aron
"The potential has been good all weekend, but we didn't have luck in any session and that hurt us a lot. It's funny because my sponsors wanted to see a full lap where I pushed, but there wasn't any in practice or qualifying with all the traffic, yellow and red flags, and we had to take one of race 1. In today's race I drove as fast as I could using every inch of the track. We really gave all we could, but it just didn't go our way."
# 11 - Marcus Armstrong
"The race was ok, but I was just struggling on the straights. I couldn't compete with Juri who drove past me straight away. Not an ideal situation for sure, but I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere of the Macau Grand Prix."
# 12 - Robert Shwartzman
"I was expecting to be much better in this race to be honest. We struggled and finished P9, not the result I was hoping for, but it is what it is, and I gave my best. Anyway, this has been a good season, massive thanks to the team for their effort: even if this race didn't go well, the championship did, and I give big credit to the team. Thank you to those who supported me like Ferrari and SMP Racing, we'll be back strong next season"