Round 3: Switzerland moves two poles closer to first win Neel Jani, who has been on pole at Sepang the past two years, continued his domination in Malaysia with pole position for both the sprint and feature races. Already early this morning...
Round 3: Switzerland moves two poles closer to first win
Neel Jani, who has been on pole at Sepang the past two years, continued his domination in Malaysia with pole position for both the sprint and feature races.
Already early this morning the Swiss driver had been dominant in the third practice session and clocked a very fast time of 1.49.176. In the afternoon, he followed through with both poles.
Under the 2007-2008 regulations, each A1GP Team is limited to one 'flying lap' per session, and at the end of the first two sessions the grid is determined. The teams' fastest single lap from either of these first two segments counts towards the sprint race grid slot.
In the hot and sunny conditions at Sepang A1 Team Switzerland finished Q1 with a best time of 1.49.003. In Q2, the team improved their time and finished with a stunning 1.48.630 being the fastest of the Q2 session. The combined result gave Neel Jani pole for the sprint race.
For the Sunday feature race the same applies also for the last two segments, so, the team's fastest single lap from segments 3 and 4 determines the feature race grid slot. In Q3, A1 Team Switzerland again clocked the fastest time of 1.48.425, 0.382s ahead of France. In Q4, the Swiss team was still the one to beat but Jani put in an incredible lap to go even faster with a lap of 1.47.648.
Neel Jani commented, "I encountered a slight problem with brakes towards the end of my last outing and spun. But I managed keeping the top of the sheet in the session and I did not suffer too much from the heat, although it is a bit like being in the sauna with the heat and humidity."
During the qualifying press conference Neel Jani summed-up his session: "I am so pleased overall. I wanted to be P1 yesterday and I made it today. I pushed so hard. It was fantastic in both qualifying sessions for each race. James Robinson my engineer and everyone in the team did such a good job. They adjusted the car for each segment. At the end, in the last run it was just exactly perfect. Finishing on pole for the sprint race and the feature race was certainly more than what we were hoping. I was on pole here last year in the two races, but I did not win both races. My aim is to win both races tomorrow."
Max Welti, team principal of A1 Team Switzerland commented: "I am very pleased with the result. To be starting with a good advantage is key on this difficult track. Neel Jani, Rahel Frey our rookie, our engineers and the mechanics did a really good job all weekend. What a great qualifying result to set us up well for the two races tomorrow."