Portimao: Team Switzerland Friday notes

Brief practice for A1GP team Switzerland at the Algarve Clutch failure left Neel Jani sidelined after nine laps In first practice for the races of the World Cup of Motorsport in Portugal, Neel Jani didn't even get to setting up the car of the...

Brief practice for A1GP team Switzerland at the Algarve

Clutch failure left Neel Jani sidelined after nine laps

In first practice for the races of the World Cup of Motorsport in Portugal, Neel Jani didn't even get to setting up the car of the Swiss A1GP team according to his preferences. A clutch failure left him sidelined after only nine laps. In the final classification, he ended up sixth.

In the first 15 minutes of practice, Jani left the track to his opponents. On one hand, as usual, Alexandre Imperatori had done his job in the rookie session without any problems and on the other hand, Jani himself had already acquired experience at the new, quite challenging race track near Portimao in the Algarve region while testing an Aston Martin LMP1 car in March, contrarily to most of the other drivers. Although the set-up of Swiss car was not yet like he wanted it, Jani topped the time sheets after 25 minutes. "Given the fact that the car had extreme oversteer and we had some trouble under braking, we can be satisfied for the time being", Jani reported.

The attempt to cure the problems of the car during the second outing was already aborted after one lap due to the clutch failure. "Solving the problem in time will not be difficult for the Ferrari people", said Jani. "However, we will have to start all over again with the set-up work on Saturday. I hope that we can get everything right before qualifying starts in the afternoon."

Making up for the lack of track time in practice will not be easy for the Swiss team. While Jani only racked up 9 laps, other drivers completed as many as 50. In particular Nicolas Prost, Earl Bamber and A1GP-novices Andre Lotterer and Vitantonio Liuzzi gained a lot of experience, all four of them having been out in the rookie session in the morning already. Swiss team principal Max Welti remains upbeat in spite of the technical problem. "We will get that solved in time", he is confident.

In spite of high and quite cold wind, the performance of the A1GP cars was impressive. Dutch driver Robert Doornbos completed a lap in 1:31.962 minutes (183/675 km/h). With that time, he was only slightly slower than McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari in the Formula 1 test in December. Back then, Pedro de la Rosa set a best lap time of 1:30.080 while Luca Badoer reached 1:31.320.

-credit: switzerland

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Series A1GP
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Luca Badoer , Andre Lotterer , Robert Doornbos , Vitantonio Liuzzi , Neel Jani , Max Welti , Nicolas Prost , Earl Bamber , Alexandre Imperatori