Estoril: Qualifying report

Circuito Estoril, 22 October - A1 Team Brazil has taken its second Sprint race podium of the A1 Grand Prix series with Nelson Piquet Jr recording the fastest aggregate time in qualifying despite spinning off in the first of the four sessions. In a...

Circuito Estoril, 22 October - A1 Team Brazil has taken its second Sprint race podium of the A1 Grand Prix series with Nelson Piquet Jr recording the fastest aggregate time in qualifying despite spinning off in the first of the four sessions. In a reversal of fortunes for Switzerland and France, the two teams leapt to the top of the Sprint race grid after being placed at the very bottom of the time sheet in this morning's official practice session.

A1 Team Brazil's Nelson Piquet Jr said: 'We had to work very hard here as we were all struggling due to the bad weather. When we went out for Qualifying this was the first time we had been out on a hundred per cent dry track with new tyres. On my first run I pushed and made a silly mistake. We then worked on the car and got it better and better and at the end I had to make sure I had a final safe lap. It is great to have done so well here in Portugal as we did not have a really good weekend in Germany, so we stepped back to see what we did wrong there so we could put it right here.'

Recording the team's best-ever result in a Qualifying session, A1 Team Switzerland's Neel Jani said: 'We had a very good second run on the first set of new tyres, but we had already had a good run in the first session on old tyres. I was hoping to snatch pole but the final run was not perfect although good enough for second. I had a lot of traffic on my out laps but it was not so bad on my quick laps.'

Switzerland's Team Principal, Max Welti said: I am very happy that Switzerland is part of this World Cup, the first real professional nations cup. I like the philosophy behind it and it's great that Switzerland from the start is actually able to be among the best.'

A1 Team France's Alexandre Premat said: 'In the first qualifying I was quicker than the others, which was great. But after that the car was harder to drive as I had both understeer and oversteer. It was tough and on my final run I made two mistakes. We now have some work to do for the races as we need to sit down and look at our data to check what needs to be done for tomorrow.'

Due to A1 Team Austria failing to comply with the weighing procedure during Qualifying, their fastest lap time has been withdrawn and they will therefore drop one place on the grid from twenty-first to twenty-second place.

The Sprint race will be contested over 50 miles lasting up to 30 minutes in duration. With a rolling start at 13.30 BST, tomorrow's race will be run over 18 laps at the Circuito Estoril near Lisbon, Portugal. The outcome of the race determines the grid position for the Feature race which will start at 15.00 BST with a standing start. The Feature race will be run over 100 miles (36 laps) lasting up to 60 minutes in duration.

-a1gp-

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Nelson Piquet , Neel Jani , Alexandre Prémat , Max Welti