Sepang: Team Germany responds to penalties

A1 Team Germany robbed of best season result After Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany had recorded its best result of the season so far in Malaysia, an unusually hard decision by the Stewards robbed the team of all the points it had scored after the...

A1 Team Germany robbed of best season result

After Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany had recorded its best result of the season so far in Malaysia, an unusually hard decision by the Stewards robbed the team of all the points it had scored after the race. Nominated driver Michael Ammermuller, who had qualified on the second row for the sprint and main race on his debut, initially claimed third position in the sprint. However, he dropped down to 16th position due to a 25 second penalty and was disqualified from the main race.

Michael Ammermuller started from fourth place at the wheel of the powerful 550 hp A1GP race car in Sepang, and was already putting the Canadian Robert Wickens under pressure at the end of the first lap. On the tenth and final lap Ammermuller overtook his adversary. Because of a collision between the two cars the Stewards, however, imposed the German team a time penalty after both races had finished which dropped the team down by thirteen positions.

Starting from third place in the main race the German team's car lost three positions because Michael Ammermuller was out of practice using a foot operated clutch pedal to make standing starts. On lap six he attacked Adam Carroll and took fifth position. He still held fifth position after his first compulsory pit stop. On lap 20 the newcomer attacked the fourth placed car of A1 Team Great Britain, unfortunately both cars spun. As a result, the man from Lower Bavaria initially received a drive-through penalty which dropped him back to 18th position. David Sears Motorsport completed the second compulsory pit stop for A1 Team Germany in text book fashion on the 28th of the 35 lap race. Ammermuller climbed to 13th position before the finish. However, the team was then hit by an additional penalty: the Stewards reassessed the incident and elected to disqualify the team from the main race.

Michael Ammermuller: "My first A1GP weekend was big fun, even though it didn't finish exactly as I'd hoped. The sprint race with the rolling-start began well even though I had to start from the dirty side of the track. Third place was a great result, which is why the penalty was so hard. I made a mistake from the standing start in the main race and dropped back. I haven't driven a car with a foot operated clutch pedal for two years; I'm only really familiar with hand clutches. Many of my rivals with recent Formula 3 experience definitely had an advantage today. I was sixth after the first lap before overtaking Adam Carroll. I wanted to overtake the British car after my pit stop in Turn 1, but I was too optimistic and we both spun. I received a drive-through penalty and was excluded later as a result. Nevertheless, our pace was good at the weekend, the team works very professionally, and we could have brought home a top result without the penalty."

Willi Weber: "First the positive aspects of the race: I was very pleased with Michael Ammermuller's first race for our team here in Malaysia. He sat in our car for the first time on a race weekend after having tested just once for us nearly 15 months ago. Michael did a good job and continued to improve his performance between the practice sessions, qualifying and the race. Michael Ammermuller has my complete and utter support. I'm delighted that he is a member of our team -- and, furthermore, he will continue to be so. Unfortunately, the Stewards saw the race incident differently and penalised him unusually hard. I find it extremely negative that the sprint race was assessed differently in light of the main race long after the sprint itself had finished. I also don't understand why we were excluded from the main race, particularly as everybody involved could continue after the collisions, reaching the finish, plus we had already been penalised extremely hard with a drive-through penalty. This unusually hard penalty means that we will have to seriously consider how we see our future in this series."

-credit: a1teamgermany/speedpool.com

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Adam Carroll , David Sears , Robert Wickens , Michael Ammermüller