Taupo: Team Brazil Saturday report

Sixth Row Grid Slot for A1 Team Brasil after Taupo Qualifying A1 Team Brasil's Raphael Matos will line up on the sixth row of the grid for tomorrow's A1GP sprint race at the Taupo circuit in New Zealand. After this afternoon's four-part...

Sixth Row Grid Slot for A1 Team Brasil after Taupo Qualifying

A1 Team Brasil's Raphael Matos will line up on the sixth row of the grid for tomorrow's A1GP sprint race at the Taupo circuit in New Zealand. After this afternoon's four-part qualifying session, the drivers' two best qualifying laps were combined to form the grid, with Raphael's two laps putting him in twelfth position overall.

This morning's final one-hour free practice session proved disappointing for the team. After a satisfying rookie practice yesterday, Raphael was hoping to set some improved times this morning, but in a competitive session, running on tyres that had grained yesterday, he was only able to finish 21st in the standings, with a lap time of 1:15.797.

Although not the top ten grid slot the team were hoping for, this afternoon's qualifying session was an improvement on some of the team's more recent results. He was able to improve his lap times in the session, setting his fastest laps of 1:15.479 and 1:15.354 in the second and final segments respectively.

Tomorrow's 20-minute sprint race will begin at 1100hrs local time (GMT+13hrs). The top six finishers in the race will score points and the final standings will form the grid for the 70-minute feature race. The main race will begin at 1500hrs and will see the top ten finishers scoring points.

Raphael Matos: "I wouldn't say I'm happy with the qualifying position, but I think we made a lot of progress from this morning, and definitely from Malaysia and Indonesia, and I believe that we are much closer to the top guys than before. In practice we had to suffer from a problem we had yesterday with tyre graining. We used the old tyres and had to live with losing almost a full second just because of that, but we knew that qualifying would be much better, and it was. The car is getting better and I'm still learning about the one-lap qualifying and working with my new engineer. I am hoping that we can score some points tomorrow."

Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal: "We have made an improvement from the last races, but we still need to find another second. The car is still off but we are getting there. The weekend is going very well, the crowds are good, the track is beautiful and the organisation is unbelievably good. The race is big news here, the whole country seems to be behind it and we have news everywhere; on the TV and the radio and in the newspapers. New Zealand is showing the potential that A1GP has internationally."

-credit: team brasil

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Emerson Fittipaldi