Front row start for A1 Team Brasil in South Africa A1 Team Brasil has recorded its first front row qualifying result of the season, with Bruno Junqueira set to begin tomorrow's Sprint race from second on the grid after a stunning qualifying...
Front row start for A1 Team Brasil in South Africa
A1 Team Brasil has recorded its first front row qualifying result of the season, with Bruno Junqueira set to begin tomorrow's Sprint race from second on the grid after a stunning qualifying performance. In the Feature race, Bruno will begin from fifth after an extremely competitive session saw the top five drivers separated by just two tenths of a second.
Team Brasil began the day on the back-foot as Bruno lost a set of new tyres following yesterday's accident, leaving only two new sets available for qualifying. The aim of this morning's practice, therefore, was not to go for timed laps, but to bed in brakes and work on the balance of the car for qualifying. Bruno completed just 15 laps in the hour as the set of tyres used were required for qualifying, but completed the planned programme.
In the Sprint race qualifying session, Team Brasil had another panic when Bruno was not able to set a lap in the first session due to a red flag when only six teams had recorded a time. However, Bruno came back admirably on his only shot in the second session, setting a fantastic lap time of 1:18.168, the second fastest time behind Team Canada. It was a gamble for the team, opting to go out late in the session, but it paid off as the track cleaned up and Bruno will now begin from the front row of tomorrow's Sprint race.
For Feature race qualifying, Bruno headed out on track half way through the session. He set a lap of 1:18.742 on old tyres, sitting provisionally in fourth position behind Teams Switzerland, Great Britain and New Zealand, the first two of those having set their laps on new tyres. Bruno went out for final qualifying on new rubber, and the team decided to wait until late on in the session. Bruno set a time of 1:17.917 but, in a hotly contested 15-minutes, he qualified fifth behind Teams Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand and Great Britain.
Bruno Junqueira: "We had a very hard day yesterday but there's no better way to come back than with a great qualifying, so I am very happy. I have to thank the team a lot; the mechanics worked very late last night to fix the damage and they gave me a very fast car. I hope now that we can do a great job tomorrow. I'm confident for both of the races, looking at the difference in qualifying times, I see no reason why we can't have two good, solid races."
Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal: "I am very happy with the overall team performance this weekend. Xandi did a great job for us yesterday morning and then Bruno, after his setback yesterday, has done a very good job today after not being able to do many practice laps. Second in one race and fifth in the other is a very good job and the team recovered well from yesterday's crash and provided a very good car. Bruno is confident for tomorrow but it is going to be a very difficult race. I think there will be a lot of yellow flags and maybe safety cars and I think emotions will run high. It will be tough for the drivers and I think after half an hour in the car in this heat and humidity they will be at the limit of physical resistance. For Team Brasil, we are aiming for podiums in both races."