PETRONAS-supported Jazeman, racing with his regular team, Carlin, had a tough start to the weekend, with bad weather and red flag stoppages in the early weekend practice sessions limiting the amount of running he was able to achieve.
With drier conditions on Friday, Jazeman had more running and on his first set of tyres in the qualifying session he was comfortable with his lap times, however yellow flags for his second new tyre run spoiled his chances of improving on his time, putting him 15th on the grid for the first of the two races.
Jazeman made a good start in Saturday’s qualification race, but a slipping clutch caused problems for the 19-year-old driver, dropping him back to 23rd place. He recovered and fought his way back up to 17th position by the chequered flag. Carlin checked over the car after the race, replacing the clutch and making final adjustments for the main feature race.
Taking 17th place grid slot for the main feature race, Jaafar had a clean start, skilfully avoiding a start line accident ahead and moving up a place by the end of the first lap, then improving another place a few laps later. As the race headed into the closing stages the pressure mounted, with a couple of incidents forcing a safety car period. The race restarted and Jaafar raced on to a well-deserved eighth place.
Jazeman reviewed his weekend saying, “Coming back to Macau was a great way to end my season. I raced here last year so had some knowledge and experience, but the weather set us back in our preparations at the beginning of the weekend. My clutch problems in the first race put paid to any chances of finishing in the top ten, but I was really pleased for my fortunes to change in the second race.
“Starting in the middle of the field always makes you vulnerable to incidents around you, particularly on a street track like Macau. I was lucky to avoid being caught up in these, having to slam on the brakes on one occasion, but keeping out of trouble meant I was able to improve through the race and finish eighth, which was a good result at this very tough event.
“Macau is one of the key events in a racing driver’s career; twenty of the 28 drivers on this year’s Formula 1 grid have competed at the Macau Grand Prix, so I am following in the footsteps of someo of the best drivers in the world.”
Jazeman has finished his 2011 season of racing and will take a well deserved break at home in Malaysia next week, before returning to the UK to prepare for 2012.