Neel Jani second in first practice For the Swiss team, the venture of the A1GP series in Mexico City got off to a good start. In first practice at the "Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez", the only driver to lap faster than Neel Jani was Briton Oliver...
Neel Jani second in first practice
For the Swiss team, the venture of the A1GP series in Mexico City got off to a good start. In first practice at the "Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez", the only driver to lap faster than Neel Jani was Briton Oliver Jarvis. The margin was no more than five hundredths of a second. Switzerland's direct opponents in the battle for overall victory in the nations' cup, New Zealand and France, had to make do with sixth and twelfth place respectively.
Team principal, Max Welti, was quite happy with the day's results. "Car and driver have what it takes to claim more success. We are on the right way. This result also shows that Rahel Frey did a good job in the rookie session." Engineer James Robinson got Neel Jani to test various different set-ups on Friday. Room for improvement was mainly found in the twisty second sector of the track.
Jani still has some slight repercussions from the virus that he caught in South-Africa three weeks ago, but he claimed to be "99 percent fit", and is quite optimistic for qualifying and the two races. "The car is feeling quite well, even though set-up isn't optimal yet", the driver from Berne said. "On Saturday, we will experiment with the springs and the dampers a little bit more."
Compared to last year, the track was shortened by 340 metres to 4.08 kilometres, four corners at the back of the track are no longer in use. Moreover, a chicane has been added in front of the peculiar last corner. The bumpy surface remained. "Under braking and in most of the corners, you get a decent shake-up", Neel Jani reported. "That was already the case in Durban, but the track in Mexico is significantly quicker. We are almost all the time at 180 to 220 kph in fourth or fifth gear."
In rookie training, Rahel Frey was twelfth of 18 competitors in the combined classification of the two sessions. During her second outing for the Swiss team, the 22-year old from Solothurn did better than the result shows. "Rahel has done a good job", Max Welti said. "She made us quite satisfied with her work and brought the car back in one piece. She is still lacking consistency over a lap. In the first sector, she came within one hundredth of a second to the fastest time. When everything would have added up, she probably would have been fifth or sixth."