A promising performance from Felipe Guimaraes for A1 Team Brazil turned to disappointment as the team suffered from technical problems in both races at the Chengdu Circuit in China. Forced to pit for four laps during the Sprint race to solve an ...
A promising performance from Felipe Guimaraes for A1 Team Brazil turned to disappointment as the team suffered from technical problems in both races at the Chengdu Circuit in China. Forced to pit for four laps during the Sprint race to solve an electrical problem meant Felipe finished the race at the back of the pack, while the feature race saw the squad retire early due to concerns over the engine overheating.
Starting from 12th on the grid due to a tyre pressure problem in qualifying, Felipe retained position after the rolling start for the 18-lap sprint race. Unfortunately, an electrical problem caused him to slow on the second lap and, although briefly pulling to the side of the track, he was able to get going and bring the car into the pits. The issue was rectified and four laps later he rejoined the grid, albeit at the back of the grid. In the ten remaining racing laps, Felipe set some extremely competitive and consistent lap times, his fastest just one hundredth of a second off the pace of the fastest lap of the race, set by Ireland's Adam Carroll, the eventual race winner.
Felipe began the 50-lap feature race from tenth on the grid and, after his strong lap times in the sprint, was hopeful of a rewarding race. He dropped back to 17th after being forced to take evasive action as the Netherlands stalled right in front of him on the grid, which resulted in a safety car period. Felipe passed Korea for 16th on the restart on lap 3 but was then hindered four laps later when an advertising banner became attached to the front wing and radiator air intake, causing the car to understeer and the engine to overheat. He made his first compulsory stop on lap 11 but just three laps later pulled the Brazil car into the garage after data showed the engine was losing water pressure due to the overheating, and risking damage to it.
The team is now looking forward to a more rewarding weekend in Malaysia in two weeks time, as the third round of the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport takes place at the Sepang International Circuit.
Felipe Guimaraes: 'We changed a few things on the car before the sprint race and in the race it was fantastic, so quick. I set the second fastest lap without using PowerBoost. Unfortunately, in that race and the second race we just didn't have any luck and had the technical problems. We are feeling positive though because the car was so good. It gives us confidence for Malaysia and I hope we can get a strong result there.'
Fernando Avallone, Franchise Manager: 'The results do not show it, and it was a frustrating Sunday, but we move on to Malaysia with a positive frame of mind given Felipe's great pace all weekend, and the superb job our team showed once again. We know it is now only a matter of time until we are battling at the sharp end of the grid, and it could very well be on our next race, as all the ingredients are there - we all wish we could race again tomorrow! Malaysia was also very good for us last season, so we are really looking forward to Sepang in two weeks time.'
1. Ireland (Adam Carroll)
2. Netherlands (Robert Doornbos)
3. Great Britain (Danny Watts)
20. Brazil (Felipe Guimaraes)
1. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque)
2. Ireland (Adam Carroll)
3. Great Britain (Danny Watts)