A1 Team Brasil endure difficult qualifying at Zhuhai
A1 Team Brasil endured a difficult qualifying session today for round four of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport when Sergio Jimenez suffered from brake problems throughout. In an incredibly competitive session at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China, the issues affected Sergio in terms of performance and, as a result, the team will begin tomorrow's sprint and feature races from 12th and 14th places respectively.
Following this morning's final one-hour practice session, A1 Team Brasil embarked on the afternoon's qualifying. Sergio set his fastest lap in the first segment for the sprint race, clocking a time of 1:24.141, good enough for a provisional sixth place. However, as the track cleaned up and lap times became more competitive, Sergio saw his position drop to twelfth in the final standings.
For the feature race qualifying, Sergio recorded his fastest time in the fourth segment with a lap of 1:24.328. In a session in which the top eighteen drivers were separated by less than a second, Sergio placed fourteenth at the chequered flag.
During the whole of qualifying the team struggled with the brake pads on a circuit which has proved to be very hard on brakes. Work overnight will focus on solving these problems in preparation for tomorrow's races. The sprint race will get underway at 11am, with the feature race beginning at 3pm.
Sergio Jimenez: "I'm really disappointed with the positions because it's not where we should be. We have had a lot of problems with the pads today in practice and then in qualifying and it has really affected us. The only thing to do now is work on the problems for tomorrow and hope we can gain some positions in the races."
Fernando Paiva, Team Principal: "This series is becoming more and more competitive and if you have a small issue these days, especially in qualifying, it can really hurt you. Zhuhai is a difficult circuit on brakes and we tried to prevent that problem from affecting us and we didn't manage it. We are going to get it right tomorrow, but unfortunately we will be starting from positions which do not reflect our practice performance."