Mexico City: Team France race report

Sunday, March 25, 2007 - A1 Team France's Jean-Karl Vernay - did not finish his first sprint race in Mexico despite excellent qualifying for his first event the 15-lap long sprint-race. In the 45 lap-long feature race Jean-Karl Vernay's effort...

Sunday, March 25, 2007 - A1 Team France's Jean-Karl Vernay - did not finish his first sprint race in Mexico despite excellent qualifying for his first event the 15-lap long sprint-race. In the 45 lap-long feature race Jean-Karl Vernay's effort were stopped by an accident with New Zealand, at the start, but he spectacularly managed to finish the race despite the incident.

Jean-Karl Vernay says: "It was a tough start from the sprint race. I was surprised at the pace. As the cars pulled off the grid the action began and Junqueira passed me. It went quick: Mexico and

Brazil collided. Germany and Brazil were forced into early retirement. Then I resisted and was third. Australia came from behind. I did not want to let it go. I was the next victim. This also

means a disappointing result for me despite my qualifying fifth in my first A1GP weekend. I do not know what happened, and then that was it, I spun. I only completed two laps but the car is not damaged which is the main thing so I can start for the feature race. The feature race will be long and physical. I will start way back in 19th, sort of sandwiched between Mexico Salvador Duran with Brazil and Germany next to me just like in the sprint race."

Vernay's ambitions were shot in the feature race when he touched with New Zealand at the start on his first lap. Vernay added: "For the start of the feature race, it all went very fast. I had a contact with New Zealand and thought that the race was over for me as I flew off on his back wheel. Landing on the grass destroyed the spoiler and messed up the geometry of the car. There damage to my car was important, but as I saw I did not stall, I managed coming back for repair. Then I rejoined the race although I was going to be one lap behind. There was no way I would miss this race and was going to drive with my heart and my head. I was going to fight every inch in this first race. At the end, I was racing a strong race and completed two good pit stops throughout the race. A good learning curve. I have to rush back to Europe as I will be testing F3 in Nogaro tomorrow. "

Eric Boullier, General Manager - A1 Team France added: "Jean-Karl Vernay's problem in the sprint race cost us a lot over the week-end after an excellent qualifying session in fifth and we finished a lap down as the accident at the start cost us a good chance of a strong fish. To Start from the back of the grid is always difficult. Despite his contact with NZ Jean-Karl finished the race but he had to pit to change front nose. It is a very disappointing consequence as his physical condition was ok for a long race like this and his race pace is good. Jean-Karl learnt a lot from this weekend and we look forward to next race with him in Shanghai to keep showing our pace and this time, keep our position the whole weekend."

With two races to go before the end of the Championship, France has scored 57 points in the championship.

See you in Shanghai for the tenth race of the season on Sunday, 15 Apr, 2007

-credit: team france

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