Disappointment in Zhuhai for A1 Team Brasil
A disappointed A1 Team Brasil leaves the Zhuhai International Circuit tonight as it comes away empty-handed from round four of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. In the sprint race Sergio Jimenez finished 18th after being hit on the first lap, causing an unscheduled pitstop and nosecone change. There was further disappointment in the feature race when Sergio was hit again on the first lap, forcing him to retire due to accident damage.
Sergio had a disappointing sprint race in terms of a result after he was forced into an unscheduled pitstop. However, the team was able to get some good information from the 14 laps. On turn three of the first lap following the rolling start, Sergio was tapped from behind which forced him to touch Team South Africa. RSA's Adrian Zaugg's car tipped sideways, causing Sergio and Team Australia to stop and damaging both nosecones. Following a replacement nose in the pits, Sergio rejoined the track a lap down, but proved the speed of the car by setting the third fastest lap time, just a tenth off of Switzerland's fastest lap.
In a feature race of high attrition, Team Brasil became one of the earliest victims of retirement when Sergio was hit from behind by Team Canada on turn one of lap one. Although Sergio was able to bring the car into the pits with visible front wing and left sidepod damage, it was the suspension damage that forced the team into early retirement.
As the team was unable to score points today, it drops to eleventh in the championship with 22 points. A1 Team Brasil will be aiming for a strong points haul at the next round in Taupo, New Zealand, which takes place on Sunday 20 January.
Sprint race: "There were a lot of cars close on that corner and unfortunately the Netherlands just touched me and I tapped South Africa. There wasn't anywhere to go and then I was a lap behind because I had to make the pitstop to change the nose. It was good for us to see where the car was at and how the brakes were performing. We were very quick in the race, with the third fastest lap time, so it was disappointing."
Feature Race: "I did a very good start and passed two cars. I was in the middle to the inside and aiming to overtake one more car on the corner. When I started to do the turn Canada, who had a very bad start, hit me from behind. He wanted to win the race on the first corner. The race is long so if you start bad you can try to recover, the race is not decided in the first corner. It's a real shame because we had a very, very good car and what affected us badly this weekend were the problems in qualifying with the brakes. We could easily have been in the top five today."
Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal: "We are very disappointed because we lost the two races due to bad driving, one in turn three and the other in turn one. It's a shame that we qualified where we did - that cost us because there was bad driving behind. The Canadian driver in the second race was driving completely over the limit and was out of control, and that's a shame. But we will move on to Taupo in January, and that will be a good race for us."