Neel Jani twice in front row! After the trouble with their car during the first training session in Sydney/Eastern Creek (AUS) last Friday night, the Swiss A1GP-Team rebuilt the car completely. Their night shift through to till 1am on ...
Neel Jani twice in front row!
After the trouble with their car during the first training session in Sydney/Eastern Creek (AUS) last Friday night, the Swiss A1GP-Team rebuilt the car completely. Their night shift through to till 1am on Saturday morning proved to be successful. Neel Jani returned to his usual fine form and achieved second position on the grid in both the Sprint and the Feature.
With great effort, the mechanics of the Swiss A1-Team examined everything and made adjustments under the supervision of engineer James Robinson. They changed the steering rack, which they suspected to be the reason for the dissatisfying training session times yesterday. With confidence, Neel Jani went to the last training session Saturday morning. In the end though, the 24year old driver from Bern got out his car disappointed having lost one and a half seconds to the best time and finishing in 14th position.
Making some potentially costly adjustments that were based on the data from the training session, Neel Jani went to the Qualifying. However, to the surprise of everybody, everything worked out perfectly. Ultimately, the team discovered that a bad set of tyres was the reason for all the trouble at previous sessions. After the first part of the Qualifying, Neel finished in third with a time of 1:18.485. At the end of the second part, with a best time of 1:18.218, he was 0.069 sec behind the Frenchman Loïc Duval and lined up his car alongside Duval on the front row for the sprint race.
Neel Jani qualified to begin second on the grid for the Feature race with a time of 1:19.594 right behind the surprisingly strong Chinese driver, Cong Fu Chen. Later on Jani increased his time to 1:18.590. Jonny Reid snatched the pole position for the Feature race from Neel Jani by 12 thousandths of a second. Really unlucky today was the Lebanese Alalaljian. He crashed his car at the beginning of the qualification and withdrew already before the end of the first qualifying session.
"I am back to life", said Jani, sarcastic after the Qualifying. "I did not lose my courage because I knew that the ridiculous training session times weren't my fault but I was prepared to work with a difficult situation. Under these circumstances I was happy to miss both pole positions by a few thousands of a second only."
Team principal Max Welti was delighted with his team: "James and all the mechanics did a great job. The team and Neel were optimistic at all times and never gave up. Neel was especially calm and confident and showed a superb resilience."
Throughout the event, weather conditions remained uncertain. Today the temperature increased to 28 degrees and it was raining between the training and the qualifying sessions. Due to the humid conditions, there might be lightening on Sunday. Though, there won't be an additional training session with wet tyres and, as experience from Eastern Creek shows, in dry weather conditions the tyres wear out faster.
-credit: team switzerland