Eastern Creek: Team Germany Friday report

A1 Team Germany gets off to a good start in Australia The seventh round of the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport, held at Eastern Creek in Australia, started well for Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany. In Friday's free practice sessions, the team...

A1 Team Germany gets off to a good start in Australia

The seventh round of the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport, held at Eastern Creek in Australia, started well for Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany. In Friday's free practice sessions, the team finished twice among the top three of the 22 nations contesting the series. Both "rookie session" driver Christian Vietoris from Gonnersdorf in Germany and Nico Hulkenberg from Emmerich adapted well to the 3.93 kilometre long Australian track located 60 kilometres west of Sydney.

Christian Vietoris who contested the "rookie session" for the second time with A1 Team Germany after having made his debut in New Zealand a fortnight ago finished seventh in the first part of the session, lapping the circuit in 1m45.393s in the rain. In the second session, he improved to second position in the course of 12 laps, with his lap of 1m36.910s having temporarily been the fastest time only to be beaten by A1 Team USA's Jonathan Summerton in the dying seconds of the session. Nonetheless, the 17 year-old youngster was happy: "For the first time, I had to get used to the car in the rain. It was definitely a big step to drive the powerful 520 hp A1 GP car in wet conditions. We gradually improved the set-up during both sessions. Basically, there were two different racing lines in the rain. The Eastern Creek circuit is very demanding, with lots of fast corners and a flowing rhythm. I once more really enjoyed working with A1 Team Germany and the outfit of David Sears which runs the car."

In the afternoon, Nico Hulkenberg took over from his compatriot. He did 21 laps, using a single set of slick tyres. His personal best time of 1m19.518s, set in lap 4, equalled third place in the second practice session. "Most of the other drivers knew the track either from last year or from the rookie session", said 19 year-old Hulkenberg. "I had to get used to it first, but the peak performance of the tyres is only available in the first couple of laps. I reached my personal best time in lap 4 when I was a bit more familiar with the circuit. The first corner of the track is pretty demanding as it is very bumpy. The degradation of the tyres throughout the session was considerable. We have still some work to do, but I'm confident."

In Saturday's qualifying, the teams will battle in four 15-minute segments for the best starting position in Sunday's first of two races.

Broadcast time on Premiere: Qualifying Sydney: Saturday, 3 February, 4:05 a.m. (live), 2:00 p.m. (repeat), 8:00 p.m. (repeat); race: Sunday, 4 February, 4:10 a.m. (live), 7:15 p.m. (repeat).

-credit: team germany

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers David Sears , Christian Vietoris , Nico Hulkenberg , Jonathan Summerton