Durban: Team Brasil Sunday notes

Points in South Africa for A1 Team Brasil Bruno Junqueira scored two points for A1 Team Brasil in today's Feature race in Durban, South Africa in round seven of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. The points came as a welcome relief to...

Points in South Africa for A1 Team Brasil

Bruno Junqueira scored two points for A1 Team Brasil in today's Feature race in Durban, South Africa in round seven of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. The points came as a welcome relief to the team after a frustrating day in which podiums had been targeted.

The Sprint race ended in disaster for Team Brasil after nine laps. After scoring the team's first front row start in over fifty races, Bruno began the race well, keeping out of trouble at the rolling start, albeit falling to fourth behind teams Canada, Great Britain and Switzerland. However, he ran into the back of Switzerland as Neel Jani went slowly into the hairpin on lap two and was forced into the pits on lap five for a new front wing after being passed by several teams. Emerging in 21st position, Bruno's only chance for points in the Sprint race was then to go for the fastest lap. However, in pursuing this he entered the chicane on lap nine a little aggressively and bumped over the high kerb which shattered the front wing. The speed through the chicane then sent him crashing into the right hand side concrete wall, which put an end to his race. He did set the third fastest lap of the race, proving the pace of the team.

For the Feature race the team was forced to switch to a spare car as there was not enough time to fix the broken engine mounts from the damage in the Sprint. Starting from fifth on the grid, Bruno moved up to fourth past Team Canada on the start/finish straight before passing GBR around the outside of the hairpin for third. After a seven lap safety car period following a multi-car incident at the turn 1 hairpin the first pitstop window opened and Team Brasil came in on lap one for its first compulsory stop. There was an issue with the rear-left tyre which delayed the exit from the pits and dropped Brasil to eighth after the pitstop window. Due to the spare car being used, the team was down on pace and China was able to pass Bruno on lap 23. After the next round of pitstops Brasil was in tenth spot and Bruno was determined to come away with points. After another restart following a safety car period on lap 42, once again several cars hit problems on the hairpin and in the melee Bruno hit the rear of Team Italy's Edoardo Piscopo. The race was then red flagged, with the classification formed from the results at the end of lap 41, at which time Brasil was in ninth spot, collecting two championship points.

A1 Team Brasil is now 11th in the championship with 40 points with the next race taking place in Mexico City on Sunday 16 March.

Bruno Junqueira: "It's been a very difficult day. The only good thing that came out of the weekend is that we proved with everything in order we can be very fast, like in qualifying and in the sprint race before the wing broke. We have the pace to win, but unfortunately things just didn't go our way today."

Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal: "It was a very frustrating day for us. Bruno did a really good job in qualifying and then the result in the Sprint race was very disappointing. The front wing was damaged so we changed the nose then I think he was too aggressive on the chicane and he broke the wing and crashed. We then had to use the spare car for the Feature race and the team did a good job to get the car ready in a short time, but we didn't have our car with our set-up. So we were losing performance and we were a second off the pace. On the last restart in the Feature race it was another mistake. Everyone slowed down because of the South Africa crash and Bruno hit the back of Italy. Now we have to go to Mexico to recover."

-credit: team brasil

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Emerson Fittipaldi , Neel Jani