A1 Team Germany holds fifth on Saturday Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany concluded Saturday's unusual free practice for the third round of the A1 Grand Prix series in Beijing by claiming fifth position. In use for the first time, the street circuit...
A1 Team Germany holds fifth on Saturday
Willi Weber's A1 Team Germany concluded Saturday's unusual free practice for the third round of the A1 Grand Prix series in Beijing by claiming fifth position. In use for the first time, the street circuit in the capital of the People's Republic of China required modifications on both Friday and Saturday, which prevented official qualifying being held.
During Friday's opening practice session the radius of turn eight on the 3.1 kilometre course proved, at approximately 24 metres, to be too tight. By repositioning the hairpin and shortening the previous straight, the radius of the corner was increased to 48.5 metres. The 22 national teams competing in the A1 Grand Prix series completed a single free practice around this new circuit layout on Saturday. Nico Hulkenberg from Emmerich, A1 Team Germany's nominated race driver, set the fifth fastest time of 1m01.275s in the powerful 520 hp A1 Grand Prix car. However, because the manhole covers dislodged on the now 2.2 kilometre long circuit free-practice had to be stopped early. The qualifying session originally planned for Saturday was also cancelled, to allow the responsible parties to make modifications to the circuit to guarantee the safety of all competitors.
If it is also not possible to hold qualifying on Sunday, Article 144 of the A1 Grand Prix series Sporting Regulations comes into effect, according to which the times set in free practice determine the starting grid for the sprint race. A1 Team Germany would start the sprint race from the third row after having recorded fifth fastest time.
"It's obviously a great shame that our first appearance this season in the People's Republic of China runs like this, because the circuit really is a challenge. There are several very bumpy sections which demand your utmost concentration. Free practice was cancelled due to the problems with manhole covers just as we wanted to make the first changes to the car after 14 laps. If qualifying doesn't take place we'll start fifth. Overtaking around this track is absolutely impossible. It'll be all about making a good start, hoping that the others make mistakes and making up ground during the pit stop and strategy. These conditions do, however, apply to everyone -- nobody actually has a disadvantage."
Broadcast times on Premiere: Race Beijing Sunday, 12 November, 7:10 a.m. (live), 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (repeats).
-credit: team germany