Treading Carefully Today A1 Team France had its first day's practice on the Durban circuit in South Africa. Nicolas Prost did the two rookie sessions in the morning and then handed over to Jonathan Cochet for the afternoon. Both drivers' mission...
Treading Carefully Today
A1 Team France had its first day's practice on the Durban circuit in South Africa. Nicolas Prost did the two rookie sessions in the morning and then handed over to Jonathan Cochet for the afternoon. Both drivers' mission was clear: to set up the car without taking any risks. Durban is the only city circuit on the A1GP calendar and the slightest mistake can be very costly, as it generally involves contact with the guardrail.
The drivers did their job today with Nicolas setting the 9th quickest time and Jonathan the fifteenth. It's a good result as the day's aim was not to go for a time, and the team feels pretty optimistic for the rest of the weekend. The basic set-up has been decided so Loic Duval should be on the pace right from the start of tomorrow morning's sessions.
Olivier Panis, sporting director: "The Durban circuit is very tricky as a few drivers found out to their cost! Our aim was to prepare for the rest of the weekend on a step-by-step basis. And, of course, not to damage the car. Nicolas and Jonathan are both professional drivers, and they did a great job which should help us to fight at the front in qualifying tomorrow."
Jonathan Cochet, test driver: "I got a real kick out of driving today. The Durban circuit is great fun with its quick sections and tight corners. It takes a little time to get used to it, and I wasn't able to get the best out of the new tyres in the opening laps. But I went quicker and quicker with every run. I was on the point of setting a good time at the end of the day when I had to lift off due to a red flag. But it doesn't really matter, as we were not going for a time today. Loic, the car's ready and waiting for you!"
Nicolas Prost, rookie driver: "I'm happy with today as it enabled me to get my bearings at the wheel of the A1 Team France car. Overall, I'm satisfied with my level of performance, which I achieved in very little time. I also felt very confident behind the wheel. Taking risks in some of the trickier corners was out of the question so I lost the odd tenth here and there. But this didn't stop me from giving the team the maximum amount of feedback."