FAUZY: 'A1GP HAS UPPED ITS GAME' Fairuz Fauzy returned to A1 Team Malaysia in early February, racing for his nation in Sydney, Australia and again in Durban, South Africa, 22-24 February 2008. The popular Malaysian driver had last driven ...
FAUZY: 'A1GP HAS UPPED ITS GAME'
Fairuz Fauzy returned to A1 Team Malaysia in early February, racing for his nation in Sydney, Australia and again in Durban, South Africa, 22-24 February 2008. The popular Malaysian driver had last driven the team's A1GP race car over 12 months ago, participating in a practice session in Taupo. Coming back into the Series he immediately noticed how the competitiveness of A1GP has risen, both on and off track.
Fauzy said of the Series one year on, "When you walk in the paddock there's an air of confidence around it that wasn't so evident when I was last here. The teams are all so focused on putting in the best possible performance that they are looking at every opportunity to beat the other nations. This is particularly noticeable in the engineering department. The team knows so much more about the car now, that they are focusing on the detail rather than the overall car. This is a result of the increasingly close levels of performance that we're seeing on the track, the teams are now needing to find tenths of a second in their performance level as that can make the difference between a top five lap time or a top ten lap time."
A1GP is currently in its third season of competition and with A1 Team Malaysia having completed over 5000 km of racing, there's now plenty of experience to draw on, yet with all the other teams having similar levels of knowledge, finding the competitive edge is a complex task.
Fauzy says, "With so little differentiation between the teams, we're seeing just how tough it is to be the best. Everyone has the same car and engine, but there are still many variables which can make the difference between winning and losing. One of the most obvious changes that I've seen coming back is the quality of drivers. Malaysia currently really has only Alex and me as racers with the level of experience to compete with the other top guys in this series. We are seeing some of the European teams bringing in highly talented youngsters who are increasing the competitiveness, hungry for success and adding to the battlefield. It's very refreshing and challenging for us all and good for the series."
Speaking of A1 Team Malaysia Fauzy concludes, "I'm pleased with the changes that I've seen in our team. The level of professionalism that everyone is operating at is higher than it was last season and that gives me confidence and makes it easier to do my job. The team is a match for any of the other teams in all areas, whether it's strategy, mechanical operations, pit stops, or engineering, despite having had a difficult season so far. The fight for wins in this series is just so tight that it's wide open to the majority of the teams. We've seen title contenders France qualifying 17th one weekend and on pole the next, I think that just demonstrates this. One thing is for sure, Malaysia is battling as hard as any of the teams for a win."
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will be back in action in two weeks time at Mexico City for the eighth round of the Series. A1 Team Malaysia will be representing the country alongside 21 other countries, fighting for the pride of the nation and flying the flag for Malaysia.