Before qualifying, three practice sessions were held throughout which the British team worked on set-up to end session three second fastest less than a tenth behind perpetual front-runners and arch-rival A1 Team France. The qualifying sessions were full of incident and anticipation. The first of the four sessions was stopped after only four of the 24 cars had set a time when the Mexican car crashed. Conditions had changed and high winds were bringing sand onto the track making conditions slippy. The seemingly indomitable A1 Team France got caught out and so the tension built as they had failed to set a time in session two. At one point A1Team.GBR was topping the time sheets but session four wasn't kind to the team. The top teams managed to improve on their times while Robbie struggled with a technical problem and lost time dropping him to fifth on the grid.
"In the practice sessions we were putting in really good times on used tyres and we had real consistency and swapping places with France between first and second. In qualifying we went out and the track conditions were different a bit slippery so we made some adjustments. Then I was on my fast lap when the red light came on which was disappointing. For the second session we were getting used to the track, then we had new tyres for the remaining two attempts. We had a good run on the third stint and for the fourth we had a little technical problem that we're looking into that lost us a few tenths. It's a shame we're only fifth when we should have been in the top three but I'm looking forward to the race.. We've got a good race car. If I can get another good start we should be right up there."