Durban: Team France Saturday notes

Street fighters Today A1 Team France got down to the nitty-gritty on the Durban city circuit in South Africa. Loic Duval, who had arrived from Japan in the morning by plane, took to the track in the car in which he has racked up 6 podium...

Street fighters Today

A1 Team France got down to the nitty-gritty on the Durban city circuit in South Africa. Loic Duval, who had arrived from Japan in the morning by plane, took to the track in the car in which he has racked up 6 podium finishes including a victory this season.

Things got off to a good start, as the French driver was third quickest in free practice this morning. Unfortunately, it all went wrong in qualifying. Loic was just starting his first flyer in the first segment when the red flag was hung out after an accident and this put an end to his run. In the following segment, he had just set the quickest time in the first sector when a yellow flag lost him over 3 seconds. Finally, he will start from 17th place for the Sprint Race.

In segments 3 and 4 which decided the grid places for the Feature Race Loic went out early to try and avoid traffic. He set a competitive time, but some of his rivals went quicker in the dying seconds of practice and he will start from 7th place.

This evening the team is somewhat disappointed as it was unable to capitalise on its mooring's performance, but it has nothing to reproach itself. Tomorrow's aim is a damage limitation exercise to try and minimise the impact of the below par qualifying performances on the overall championship classification.

Olivier Panis, sporting director: "The day got off to a great start and even though Loic only arrived in the morning, he was on the pace right away. Unfortunately, he was unable to capitalise on his speed in qualifying for the Sprint Race as two flags in succession effectively scuppered his runs. It's very annoying as he set the quickest times in the first and third sectors. Tomorrow, we've got no choice but to adopt a very aggressive strategy for both races to score the maximum number of points and limit the damage."

Loic Duval: "I have to say that I'm very disappointed as my performance in the morning showed that we could expect to be at the front in qualifying. I lifted off as soon as I saw the yellow flags in the second segment, but some of my rivals did not and they were not penalised! So I'm starting from 17th place in the Sprint race. Then I got to grips with the car's handling on new tyres and went out early. I finished up 7th which is not ideal, but the car is so quick that I reckon a podium finish is on the cards in the Feature Race."

-credit: france

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Olivier Panis , Loic Duval